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HI8TORT 



THE TOWN OF NATICK, MASS 



FROM THE DATS OF 



THE APOSTOLIC ELIOT, 



MDCI45 



TO THE PRESENT TIME, 



M DCCC XXX. 



BY WILLIAM BIGLQW. 



BOSTON: 

PUBLISHED BY MARSH, CAPEN, 6l LYON. 

M DCCCj(KZZ. 



Hu 



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ADVERTISEMENT. 



As there is much excitement, at the present time, respecting 
the rights of the Indians and the treatment, which they ought 
to receive from the government and people of these United 
States, it is tliought that many will be desirous to know, as far 
as can be ascertained, the circumstances which accompanied 
the gradual decrease and final extinction of the first tribe, that 
was brought into a state of civilizatioa aaid Christianity, by a 
Protestant missionary. To gratify, in a degree, this desire, 
and to preserve some of the most interesting, facts, relative to 
this town, is the object of this publication. 




...: : BOS ION: 

'W^TV & Dow'8 Print, 122 Washikotomtrxxt. 



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HISTORY Of NAtlCK. 



^Tdi^OCiftAPftlCAt DfcSCRtPtlON, !PRESENt StaTE, &C. 

PjATICKlifes in tJie County of Middleset^ south- west- 
erly from Boston. The central meeting house is six- 
tefeh miles distant from the State House, and about 
fourteen miles from the Court Houses, in Concord and 
Cambridge. It is bounded N. by Eiast Sudbury ; E. 
by Weston, Needham and Dover ; S. by Dover ; S. 
W. by Sherburne i W. and N. W. by FramingWm. It 
Contains about 11,000 acres. Deducting for Water, 636 
acres, leaves 10,366 aeries of land. A neat lithographic 
map of this town, leieciuted at Pendleton's office, Bos- 
ton, in 1829, has served, as a model, for several other 
towtis td imitate. On this are laid down all the houses, 
roads, ponds, principal streams, wood lands, &c. 

Roads, Mails, &c. — There are three prirtcipal roads 
through this town, leading from Boston to Hartford, 
Connecticut ; namely, Worcester Turnpike, through 
the north part ; Central Turnpike, through the cen- 
tre ; and the Old Hartford road, so called, through 
the south part. On the Worcester Turnpike, the great 
southern mail passes each Way dally. Several other 
mail and accommodation stage coaches are very frequent- 
ly passing. On the Central Turnpike, Boston and Hart- 
ford Telegraph line of stage coaches passes every day, 
Sundays excepted, up one day and|down the next. 
On the Old Hartford road, Boston, Mendon and Ux- 
bridge daily line of stage coaches pai^ses, and continues 



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4 HISTORT OF NATICK. 

on to Haitford three days in the week, and returns to 
Boston on the other three. This line makes the Chris- 
tian Sabbath a day of rest. 

There are two Post offices ; one on the Worcester 
Turnpike, and the other on the Old Hartford road, 
where a mail is opened daily, Sundays excepted. 

One survey of a rail road from Boston to Albany pas- ' 
ses through the centre of the town, parallel to the 
Central Turnpike, a few rods distant from it. A 
survey of a canal from Norwich, in Connecticut, to Bos- 
ton passes a few rods in front of the south meeting house, 
but the present generation have not high expectations of 
reaping very great advantages from this project. 

Soil, Productions, &c.^-The soil in the south part 
is generally loam, inclining in some parts, to clay ; in 
the central and northerly parts, it is a sandy loam. In all 
parts of the town are found lands, favourable to the rai- 
sing of grass, Indian corn, rye, barley, oats and fruits of 
all kinds, usually produced in this climate. There is 
little or no waste land in the town. Wood lots are be- 
coming scarce; but meadows, affording an inexhaustible 
supply of excellent peat, the use of which is yearly in- 
creasing, insures an ample supply of fuel for future gen- 
erations. The soil, in its original state, produced all 
kinds of forest trees, usually growing in New England. 
Formerly a great variety of nuts and berries were produ- 
ced spontaneously ; but th«se productions have been 
greatly diminished by the hand of judicious cultivation. 

Surface of theXountry, [&c. — ^Natick is the abo- 
riginal name of the township, and signifies a place of 
hills. This name is very descriptive, especially of the 
southerly part of it. At the S. E. corner, about a mile 



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HISTORT OF NATICK. 6 

from Charles* river, next to Dover, Pegan hill rises, in 
a beautiful conical form, and is capable, like all the oth- 
er eminences in the town, of profitable cultivation to its 
summit. From the top a very extensive and elegant 
prospect is presented. The land, as far as the eye can 
reach, is well cultivated, excepting a due proportion of 
woodlands ; and frdm fifteen to twenty village churches 
appear scattered in various dir^ctioni^. The romantic 
meanders of Charles river may be traced for several 
miles, and a number of ponds are interspersed in the 
surrounding scanery. At the distance of thirty and fif- 
ty miles, the Wachuset and Monadnoc mountains tower 
in pleasing majesty; and many others, hardly distinguish- 
able from azure clouds, skirt the distaint horizon. Be- 
tween this and Charles river, Perry's hill, considerably 
less elevated, slopes gently down to the margin of the 
water. On the opposite bank. Carver's hill gradually 
rises to a corresponding height, and beyond this. Broad's 
hill, a twin brother of Pegan, appears, at the distance 
of a mile from the river. About half a mile north of 
the south meeting house, Train's hill, similar to Car- 
ver's and Perry's, in shape and elevation, adds to the 
beauty of the variegated prospect. In plain sight of 
these, are BuUard's hill in Needham, and Brush hill in 
Sherburne, near the bounds of Natick, which were un- 
doubtedly taken into view, when the place received its 
significant name. On and around these hills, the cele- 
brated Eliot apportioned the lands among his Indian 
converts ; and here was the principal scene of his pious- 
labors. 

In the middle and northern parts of the town the 
land is agreeably undulating; but there are no hills so 
elevated, as tbose already described, or which are dis- 
tinguished by proper names, excepting the beautiful one 



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€ HI9TORT or NATICKv 

in ike north\^^est eorner of the town> which is talted 
Tom's hill, from its having bean owned, in olden time> 
by a celebrated Indian, who went by the name ot Cap** 
tain Tom. From many of these heights the pfospeot 
is. similar to that from Pegan^ though BOt so exteib* 
$ive. 

Tkree plains may be deemed Worthy 5f particulair isx^ 
lice. Oiie, about half a mile square^ spreads east of the 
Mimth meeting house, and is sometimes called Eliot 
plain, in remembrance of the ^ Apostle to the Indians*' 
Another lies south and WQSt of the central meeting 
house, is about a mile square, and is called Pegan^ plain* 
This and Pegan hill Were so called from their being 
formerly owned and inhabited by two distinguished In^ 
4ian families 6f this name. Boden plain, so named af-^ 
ter William Boden, Esqr. stretches abouithree miles in 
length, from the westerly side of Long pond to Fra* 
mingham line, and is about one mile in breadth. There 
are sereral smaller plains scattered among the hills in 
all parts of the town* 

Minsk ALS, &;c.«-^Bog iron ore has recently been 
ibund in several places, near the centre of the town> 
and transported to the foundery in Chelmsford, in con^ 
«iderable quantities* A quaifry of limestone was opened 
during the revolutionary war, which was burnt toad- 
vantage ; but since that time it has been neglected, ow- 
ing to the diminution of fuel, in its immediate vicinity, 
and its distance from a market. In the westerly part 
of the town, on the west margin of Long pond, there ife 
a very valuable brick yard. Four hundred and fifty 
^thousand bricks have been burnt here in one year; but 
the average number is from three to four hundred thou^ 
sand* 



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BlSTORr OF NATieE. 7 

TbeiiQ is a« ifidicatton of clay, suitable for Ae same 
purpose, on the eastern side of the pond. It is said 
that there are appearances of mountain iron ore, in 
dWia parts of the tewn^ But as no professed geo* 
, k)gist ha;s ever, to my knowledge, examined these parts 
attentively, I shall make no further observations under 
this head. 

Tom>By Brooke, Riveiu— ^About one half of LON0 
P^ND,. lies in JN^ticfc, covering 450 acre&: The remain^ 
der 18^ u» Framingham and East Sudbury. The Indian 
i]i»me o£ this was Coghituatk.. Its English name is 
4eisci^live, as the pood is not ^ from 6 miles in lengtli, 
and the breadth varies fro»i a fevv rods, to a mile, or 
loor^* Its outlet is at the north end, in^ Framingb^m, 
OA which mills are erected. Formerly shad and ale^ 
wives wer^ taken in this pond ; but, for some years past, 
the imtl daoas have prevented them from reaching it. 
DuQ FiiJND^ lies south of the above, at the distance of 
about ^ quarter of a mile, and covers 50 acres. It is so 
naaoed, from its resemblance to an artificial excavation* 
Thid has no natural inlet, excepting from die clouds 
ibove^ or springs beneath ; aftd no outlet, but by evap* 
on^n^ or absorptiottp For a few years past, however, 
Mi smaU riyidet has bj^en conducted into it, by an artifi-* 
eial channel ; and a drain has been maoe to conduct its 
waters into Long Pond. Thu9 it servers as a reservoir^ 
in which to lay yp water for the use of mills in Fra- 
ttiiagbamf Nonesuch Pond, lying partly in Weston^ 
covers 50 acres in Natiok* How this pond obtained its 
mwe is not known^ TJbough there may be ncme ex^ 
aqtly s^ch? yet there are many, which, to a comm<>nobH» 
njmetr^ appear very simitw* 

3v4i% BuKffi SQ.^ naimd ftom its sarpeotiqe windr* 



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8 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

ings, forms part of the boundary line between this town 
and East Sudbury, and empties into Long Pond from 
<!he eastward. Pegan and Steep brooks likewise emp- 
ty into Long Pond, the former from the East, and the 
latter from the West. Sawin^s and Baicon^s brooks 
enter Charles river from the north, about two miles from 
each other. 

Charles River wiqds very beautiftilly through the 
southern section of the town, covering 100 acres. The 
township is also well watered, by springs and rivulets, 
in ^very part. The height of land, in this region, is 
where Captain Luther Broad's house stands, and on Pe- 
gan plaip, which lies westerly from it. The water that 
fells from the eaves of this housed on one side, runs in- 
to Charles river, and meets the ocean at Charleslown; 
or, following the channel of Mother Brook, mingles 
with the waters of the Neponset, and joins with the 
great deep, at the mouth of this river. That which falls 
from the eaves on the other side, flow« into Long Pond, 
thence into the Concord, and Merrimack, and thus finds 
its way to the sea. The same may ibe said of two riv- 
ulets, on the plain ; one of which directs its course to 
Charles river, and the other to Long Pond. Either erf 
these might be conducted into the other, by digging a 
slight p-ench, but a feW rods in length. The ponds and 
river are pretty well stored with the usual variety of 
fresh water fish. 

Mills, &c. — The first mill, erected in Natick, was a 
saw mill, on Charles river, nearly in front of the dwell- 
ing house of the late Hezekiah Broad, Esq. It was 
built by John Saiwin, about the year 1720. , The own- 
ers of the great meadows in Medfield^ complained that 
his dam prevented the water frcoa draining oS frcMH their 



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HISTORT OF NATfCK. S 

premises ; and Sawin was induced to move his mill up 
to the brook, which still bears his name. Here he 
again erected hi3 saw mill, and built a corn mill on the 
most simple construction. It consisted of a horizontal 
wheel and a perpendicular shaft, on the top of which 
the upper 'stone rested, and with .which it was. turned. 
The Indians were much gratified'with these mills, and 
Sawin found it very easy to gain possession of a large 
tract of land, many acres of which are inherited by his 
descendants, to this day. The mill privileges are also 
owned by his posteriiy, on which are two saw mills, a 
corn mill, a boulting mill and a machine for making 
shingles. 

A few years after Sawin's removal from Charles riv- 
er, one Hastings built a dam across it, where Sawin's 
had «tood, and erected a i^aw mill, corn mill and fulling 
mill. This occasioned a law suit, brought by the own- 
ers oi Medfield meadows, which eventuated in the re- 
moval of the mills to the site, where Biglow's estab- 
lishment is npw. The natural channel of the river, was 
on the north side of the island, near these mills; and from 
the island to the south shore, was solid land. Not long 
after the dam was erected, there came what is common- 
ly called, ^ a great freshetj^ which excavated the *deep 
hole,' so callied, on the south side pf the island, and 
rendered it necessary to build another dam. 

On this site, on the north side, there are now one 
saw mill, three runs of mill stones, two crackers, for 
corn or plaster, one paper mill and two carding ma- 
chines, all under the same roof. On the south side, a 
wheel factory was put in operation, several years ago ; 
but the machinery, though very ingenious, was too 
complex and expensive, to be profitable. Some parts 
of it, however, are still used lo advantage* This privi- 
2 



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10 



HISTORY OF NATICK. 



lege is capable of great improvement, and is considered 
one of the best on Charles river. It is supposed, that as 
much water flows in the channel here, as at Water- 
town ; owing to Mother Brook draining out of the riv- 
er, as much as flows in from all the brooks between 
Natick and Watertown. 

Besides the mills already mentioned, there are a saw- 
mill on Bacon's brook, in the south part of the town ; 
a saw mill, and corn-mill, on Steep brook, in the west- 
erly part, and a trip hammer, and other blacksmith's 
works, moved by water, on Pegan brook, near the 
centre; 

Were all the water privileges used to the best advan- 
tage, and all the land, that is suitable, cultivated^ as a 
considerable portion of it now is, double the number of 
inhabitants might here be supported, as comfortably and 
respectably, as the present population. Beautiful and 
even romantic situations for country seats, for gentle- 
men of fortune and taste, are not wanting among the 
hills, plains, and ponds, in the northerly portion of the 
town, and on the charming banks of the Charles, in 
the southerly section. Could its present Uncouth name 
be changed, as has been proposed, to Eliot, or Eliot- 
ville, it would pass for a very delightful village. It is 
difficult for a stranger to realize, that the only habitations 
here, were * magalia qiwndam,^ formerly wigwams. 

Remarkable Trees. — There are two oaks, near the 
south meeting house, which have undoubtedly stood 
there ever since the days of Eliot. They have been 
decaying about forty years. The red oak, on the west- 
erly side of the meeting house, measures 17 feel in cir- 
cumference, two feet from the ground ; and the white 
oak, on the easterly side, 14 1-2 feet, at the same height. 



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HISTORY OF N^lTXCK. ' 11 

^ In 1722, a deputation of Indians came to Mr Peabo- 
dy's house, one bearing two elm trees on his shoulders. 
They presented themselves to their minister, and re- 
quested permission to set out those trees before his door, 
as a mark of their regard, or as * the tree of friendship J 
These trees flourished for about 90 years, when the lar- 
ger one was stricken by lightning, and soon after failed. 
The other being in a state of decisive decline, was re- 
cently cut down. These trees measured, one foot from 
the ground, about 21 feet, and in the smallest part, for 
14 feet up, 13 feet. The growth was about 1 1-2 inch- 
es per year. — Hon. John Welles^ communication^ in Mas- 
sachusetts Agricultural Repository^ ^c. No. 1, VoL 9. 
These trees stood in front of the house, now owned by 
Mr John Bacon, the front part of which was built by Mr 
Peabody. 

In 1763, soon after the settlement of Mr Badger, a 
like request was made by the Indians, and the same ce- 
remony took place in planting the * trees of friendship'^ 
before his door, as had been done before that of his pre- 
decessor, Mr Peabody. In 1826, the Hon John Welles 
observes, * these trees are now in full vigor, having been 
set out 73 years. They are about fifteen feet in cir- 
cumference, near the ground, and have given in circum- 
ference, nearly 1 1-2 inches growth a year.' They 
still remain in full vigor, May, 1830, in front of the 
' house now occupied by Mr Oliver Bacon, which was 
built by Mr Badger. 

The button-wood trees, in front of the south tavern, 
were set out in 1783. They were brought to the spot 
one at a time, on the shoulder of a man of ordinary 
strength. Their being planted on the Indian burying 
ground gave offence to some of the iew remaining indi- 
viduals of the tribe ; and one poor girl, with a mixture 



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12 HISTORY OF NATICK, 

of grief and anger, endeavored to uproot them ; but 
they resisted her efforts, as they have many a violent 
storm, are still in a thriving condition, and measure 17 
feet m circumference, at the height of two feet from the 
ground. 

College Graduates. — The following is a list of 
those belonging to this town, who have received a col- 
legiate education. H. U. stand for Harvard University ; 
B. C. for Bowdoin College. Those with this mark * 
prefixed are dead* 

* Oliver Peabody^ H. U. 1745. He was the son of 
the Natick minister of the same name ; was settled in 
the ministry in Roxbury ; and died soon after his ordin- 
ation, much respected and lamented. 

* Nathaniel Battelle^ H. U. 1 765. He inherited 
considerable landed property, and devoted his attention 
chiefly to agriculture. He died a few years since in 
Maiden, in this state. 

William Biglowj H. U. 1794. He has been em- 
ployed most of the time, since he was graduated, as a 
teacher of youth. 

Robert Peteshal Farriss^ H. U. 1815. Attorney at 
law, iti St. Louis, Missouri, 

John Angier^ H. U. 1821. Teacher of an Academy 
in Medford, Mass. 

Calvin E. Stowe, B. C. 1 824. Teacher of the Hebrew 
language in Andover Theological Seminary and trans- 
lator of Jahn's History of the Hebrew Commonwealth. 

Charles Angier, H. U. 1827. Teacher of an Acade- 
my in Medford, in company with his brother John. 

Joseph Angier, H. U. 1829. Student in the Theo- 
logical School in Cambridge. 

Physicians. — ^The Indians abounded with physi- 



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cians amd doctresses. One of the former by the name of 
Joshua Bran^ was the most celebrated in his day. He 
owned a small house, in which he resided, which stood 
between Mr Oliver Bacon's and Eliot Walker's, where 
his well and traces of his cellar still remain. His wid- 
ow, who was * quite a tidy ' white woman, survived him 
many years. She was known by the name of * nurse 
Brani' an appellation, which designates the employ- 
ment, in which she was generally engaged. 

Isaac Morrill^ son of the Rev. Mr Morrill, formerly 
minister of Wilmington, Massachusetts, came to this 
tbwn in 1771. He is now living, in the 82d year of 
his age ; and resides in that part of Needham, which was 
set off from Natick in 1797. 

Asa Adams came to Natick about t e year 1782, and 
remained ten or twelve years. He removed to Wolf- 
borough, where he died. He professed chiefly to be a 
surgeon of the Kittride school; but occasionally, practi- 
sed physic. 

Alexander Thayer ^ a native of Milford, Mass., came 
to Natick to reside in 1813. He passed two years of 
the academical course in Harvard University. He af- 
terwards attended the medical lectures in Dartmouth 
College, and received the degree of M. D. He died 
in 1824. 

John Angier^ a native of Southborough, came to this 
town in 1817, and still resides in the north part. 

Stephen H. Spauldingj a native of Ghelmsford^ came 
in 1823, and resides in the south part. 

John Badger, a white native, resides in the westerly 
part of the town, and has gained no small celebrity, as 
a root and herb physician. But it is believed that ow^ 
ing to envy, rivalry, or some other cause, the regularly 
educated gentlemen of the faculty are somewhat im- 



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14 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

willing to acknowle^e him, as one of the fraternity. 
The sovereign people, however, from whom all power 
and honors emanate, have decreed to him the title of 
Doctor, and frequently employ him to cure the diseases 
both of man and beast. 

Lawyers. — But one of this class of citizens has ever 
attempted to gain a residence in this town ; and he re- 
mained but a short time. The inhabitants, however, 
have contributed as liberally towards the support of 
nonresident gentlemen of the profession, as is consist- 
ent with good economy and a due regard to their own 
interest. 

Burying Grounds.— The Indian burying ground, in 
the south part of the town, now lies chiefly common. 
It is pretty Well ascertained, that the original bounds 
of it were nearly as follows, viz t beginning at the oak 
tree, on the east side of the south meeting house, by a 
straight line running north of the meeting house, to the N. 
E. corner of Dr Spaulding's land ; thence following 
the fence in front of his dwelling house, and a straight 
line, a few feet in front of the neighbouring red house, 
.the barn, house and store, belonging to the tavern es- 
tablishment, as far as the front door of the house, adja- 
cent to said establishment ; thence by a straight line in 
front of Mr Moses Eames' dwelling house, to near the 
centre of the front yard, belonging to the house of the 
late Deacon William Biglow ; and thence by a straight 
line to the oak tree first mentioned. 

These bounds have been ascertained, to the satisfac- 

^'^r,^ ^^ tko Tvriter, from several circumstances. Old 

m, fifty years ago, that the road from Bos- 

rne, originally passed north of the meeting 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 15 

house, and west of where Dr Spaulding's house and the 
other buildings on a line tvith it, now stand, and came 
into the road, as it now runs, in front of Moses Eames' 
store. In digging wells, cellars, &c. near these bounds^ 
oil the outside, no skeletons have been found. In all 
parts of the ground within these limits, skeletons have 
frequently been disturbed. 

It will be seen that this repository of the dead, in- 
cludes part of the garden and front yard of the late Dea- 
con Biglow, and a small portion of the land now belong- 
ing to Miss Eunice Biglow, and of that belonging to 
Dexter Whitings Esq. and that the roads leading from 
fiostcm to Sherburne, and from Framingham to Dover, 
cross each other nearly at right angles, not far from its 
centre. 

A number have been interred, within the memory of 
the writer, on the sloping commoii, in front of the tav- 
ern; and one on the land, since purchased and enclosed 
by the late Deacon Biglow, as a door yard. Many 
have been disinterred, in digging graves for others, in 
procuring sand for masons' work, or moving gravel for 
repairing high ways. Nearly twenty were disturbed^ 
when preparations Were making to build the wall round 
the south meeting house, and carefully reinterred. In 
two or three instances, black and white beads, formed 
of shells from the sea shore, and called, in the aboriginal 
language, wampam, have been found in the graves; also 
a few glass beads, and other trinkets. Several spoons, 
composed of a mixture of the baser metals, have been 
disinterred with their bones. In one instance, a small 
junk bottle was discovered with a skeleton, nearly half 
full of some kind of liquid ; but the lad, who dug it up, 
emptied it before the quality of its contents was ascer- 
tained. This bottle, with several other Indian curiosi- 



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16 • HISTOHY OF NATICK. 

ties, was sent to the museum of the Antiquarian Socie- 
ty in Worcester, 

There is another small Indian burying ground, lying 
common by the road side, nesur the Rev Mr Moore's 
dwelling house, not far from the centre of the town ; 

* Where heaves the turf, in many a mouldering heap, 
And the rude children of the forest sleep.' 

The south burying ground, for the white population, 
was granted by the Proprietors, *to Mr Peabody an(i 
his successors, and for the use of other English inhabi- 
tants,' June 22, 1731. In this inclosure, there are 92 
grave stones, for single persons, and one. Rev Mr Bad- 
ger's, for 7. There is also one tomb containing five 
bodies. We may therefore consider 104 individuals, 
as having monuments erected to their memorv. The 
numbers of those, who arrived at the age of 60 years, or 
upwards, are as follows, as stated on the monumental 
stones. 

1_60 1—70 2—79 

1_61 1—73 1—80 

1_62 1—75 1—84 

1_63 ' 1—76 1—87 

l.«64 1—77 2—88 

1_67 2—78 1—94 

The time is not ascertained, when the north grave 

yard for the whites was laid out. A vote was passed, *to 

fence the English burying places with stone wall,' A. D. 

1 758, which proves that it was previous to this date. 

In this there are 43 grave stones. The numbers, who 

arrived to 60, or upwards, are as follows. 

1_64 1—71 1—82 

. 2—66 1—77 1—88 

1_70 2—78 



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HISTOHY OF NATICK. 17 

The central berrying ground was appropriated to this 
purpose, A. D. 1805. Previous to this, a few bodies 
were interred near Rev Mr Moore's dwelling house. 
These were afterwards removed to the new ground. 
Among, these was Mrs Keziah Perry, on whose monu- 
mental stone we read that *sh(i was the first grain sown 
in this ground.' Here is one tomb, as yet empty, and 
4A grave stones. Ages over 60 years 

1_63 1-^72 1—77 

1_66 1—74 

The western grave yard, granted A. D. 1815, cow*- 
tains 18 stones with inscriptions. Over 60 years. 

1—64 1—68 1—77 

1_65 1—72 1—95 

1—67 

Inhabitants. — The nun^ber of inhabitants, jaccord-- 
ing to the census of 1820, was 849. Most of these are 
industrious, frugal, temperate, and consequently thriving 
farmers. There is a due proportion of the most impor- 
tant mechanics, of a similar character ; such as carpen- 
ters, masons, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, pumpmakers, 
&c. 

Many of the farmers are beginning to practice accor- 
ding to the advice of Virgil, who wrote some eighteen 
centuries ago ; though scarcely one of th^m has ever 
perused the Georgics ; 

** Laudato ingentia rura ; 
Exiglium colito :'' 

P^ijse great farm^ ; cultivate a small one. Or, if the 
reader, ppefi^r ^ quaint traopktion in v^erse, after the 



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la HISTORY OF NATICK. 

manner of Poor {Richard, in the Way to Wealth, let 
him accept the following : 

Large fanns may claim admiration ; 
Small ones pay for cultivation. 

In their intercourse with each other, or with stran- 
gers, they exhibit as much urbanity, generally speaking, 
as is consistent with pure republicanism. 

Schools, &c. — In fiirnishingthe means of education, 
this town has kept pace with most of the New England 
villages. It has been, for many years, divided into five 
school districts, and five hundred dollars a year, grant- 
ed for the support of free schools. Female teaphers sure 
employed in the summer season, and male instructors in 
the winter. Those, who take charge of the schools, are 
generally competent to the task ; and the rising genera- 
tion is well instructed in the most necessary and useful 
branches of education. Private teachers are occasion- 
ally employed ; and some are sent to schools and acad- 
emies in other towns. A Sunday school has been kept 
for several years, in the central meeting house, in the 
warm season of the year ; and another, in the South 
meeting house, ever since its dedication. 

Public Buildings, &c. — There sure two houses for 
public worship, and five schoolhouses, for the acconuno- 
dation of free schools. 

Eliot gives the following account of the building of 
the first meeting house in Natick. — " We must of neces- 
sity have a house to lodge and meet in, and wherein to 
lay our provisions and clothes^ which cannot be in wig- 
wams. I set the Indians, therefore, to fell and square 



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iy^ . . . — 



HISTORT OF NATICK. 19 

timber ; and when it was ready, I went, and many of 
them with me, and on their shoulders carried all the tim- 
ber together.'' 

Gookin thus describes this house. — "There is one 
large house built after the English manner. The lower 
room is ^ large hall, which serves for a meeting-house 
on the Lord's-d?iy, and a school-house on the week-days. 
There is a large canopy of mats raised upon poles for 
Mr. Eliot and his company ; and other sort of canopies 
for themselves and other hesurers to sit under, the men 
and women being placed apart. The upper room is a 
kind of wardrobe, where the Indians hang up their skins 
and other things of value. In a corner of this room 
Mr Eltot has an apartment partitioned off, with a bed 
and bedstead in it." I have not been able to ascertain 
how long this house stood. 

The second, it appears by the Proprietors' book, was 
finished about the year 1721, at the commencement of 
Mr Peabody's labours among this people. It remained 
during die whole of his ministry, and until the second 
year of Mr Badger's. 

The third was begun in 1764; but was not finished 
till 1767. It was occupied through the whole of Mr 
Badger's ministry, which closed in 1799 ; stood several 
yearr after, and with careful attention would have last- 
ed to this day. But when Mr B's labours in it ceased, 
it was abandoned to the pelting of the pitiless storms 
and more pitiless school boys, and soon became as great 
an eyesore to the inhabitants in its immediate neighbor- 
hood, as it ever had been to those at a distance from it ; 
and on a day of general election, a number of rude fel- 
lows of the baser sort, to complete their frolick, demol- 
ished it ; and Ae materials, which had composed it, be- 



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2D HISTORY OF NATICK. 

eame free plunder to any, who chose to convey them 
away. 

The fourth is the present central meeting house, on 
Began plain, which was raised on the 6th of June 1799, 
and completed in the course of a few months. Previoiis 
to the erection of this house, namely, in 1797, a number 
of families in the south part, by permission of the gene- 
ral court, had signed off to the religious societies in Do- 
ver, Needham, or Sherburne. The Society worshipping 
here receives the income from a fond, raised by the aaJe 
of the ministerial lot, which was granted by the Indians 
to Mr. Peabody and liis successors. 

In the beginning of 1828, a number of people, be- 
longing to t;he religious societies in Natick, Needham, 
Dover and Sherburne agreed to build a meeting house 
by subscription, on the site, where those of Eliot, Pea- 
body and Badger had stood. They were incorporated 
by the name of the South Congregational Society in 
Natick. The act of incorporation passed the Senate 
and House of Representatives, Feb. 28, and was appro- 
ved by the Govepnor, March 1, 1828. Their meeting- 
house was raised in the beginning ctf June, and dedica- 
ted to the worship of Gob, on the 20th of November in 
the same year. ' 

At the dedication of this house, the following services 
were performed, interspersed with music. Introductory 
prayer, by Rev Mr Wight of East Sudbury — Reading 
portions of Scripture, Rev Mr White, Dedham — Dedi- 
catory Prayer, Rev Mr Sanger, Dover— Sermon, Rev 

veil, Boston— Concluding prayer. Rev Dr SaAin. 

[edfield. — The Sermon was printed. 

'e are three commodious tavern houses; onfe 

I t>f the principal roads, where travellers may gen- 



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"^ HISTORY OF NATICIC. 21 

erally find convenient accommodatum^ ; and four stores 
for the retailing of foreign and domestic goods. 

Afost of the dwelling houses are neat and comfortable ; 
many of them painted white^ and some of them kurge 
and handsome. 

CiviJL HfsTORY.^ — In writing the early history of 
this town, the same difficulty occurs, which is so genr 
erally complained of by those, who make similar at- 
tempts ; namely, an almost total want of ancient records. 
In searching among the archives of the town, I find a 
few loose leaves of a book, smoked and mutilated, 
which contain an account of a few^^transactions in Na- 
tick. One in Eliot's hand writing is dated 1650; tl^e 
rest firom 1700 to 1734 — 6. The chirographical part 
is well executed; the language used is sometimes Indi- 
an, sometimes English, and sometimes a mixture of the 
two; and the signature subjoined to most of them, i^Xr 
cepting that of the earliest date^ is ^ Thomas Waban, 
Town Clerk-? 

The township of Natick was granted to the Indian cp^r 
Viert$, at the reqfiest o( their ^ Apostle Eliot,' by the in- 
hakMitantsof Dedham, ujoder tbe sanction of tb^ Generpfl 
Court. The Indians gave to the Dedham peqile tb^ 
township of Dearfield in eKcbange* The original grant 
contained about six thousand acres. Since that time it 
bas eKperieiced several additions a«d subtractions, in 
driving at its present size snd form* To ascertain pre- 
cisely those alterations, would probably be as unprofitse 
ble, as it would be difficult. 

From the page above mentioned, dated 16d0, wbich 
J shall copy in what I consider its pr<^er wder, I am 
led to the belief, that Eliot ' gathered the Ind^qs to- 
gether fwm their scattered kuid of life into civil soqi- 
ety,' in that year ; though the town was not laid out 



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22 ^ HISTORT OP NATICK. 

till the year following. 1 shall therefore give under 
this date, their form of civil government, from Gookin's 
Historical Account of Indians^ written in 1674; then 
subjoin some extracts from the loose leaves above men- 
tioned, together with such facts, as may be gathered 
from other sources down to the commencement of Mr 
Peabody's ministry. 

When the Indians applied to Mr Eliot for a form of 
civil government, he referried them to the advice, which 
Jethro gave to Moses : — * Moreover, thou shnlt provide 
out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of 
truth, hating covetomsness, and place such over them, to be 
rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, and rulers 
of fifties, and rulers of tens.^ 

In compliance with this counsel, about one hundred 
of them held an assembly, and chos6 one ruler of the 
one hundred, two rulers of fifty, and ten rulers of ten. 
After the rulers of ten were chosen, they placed them- 
selves in order, and every individual ranged himself un- 
der the one whom he chose. 

When this was settled, they entered into the follow- 
ing covenant :— * We give ourselves and our children 
unto God to be his people. He shall rule us in all our 
affairs ; not only in our religion and the affairs of the 
church, but also in- all our works and afl^rs in this 
world. God shall rule over us. The Lord is our 
judge ; the Lord is our Lawgiver ; the Lord is our 
King ; he will save us. The wisdom which God has 
taught us in his book, that shall guide us and direct us 
in the'way. O, Jehovah, teach us wisdom to find out 
thy wisdom in thy scriptures.' 

* Let the grace of Christ help us, because Christ is 
the wisdom of God. Send thy spirit into our hearts. 



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HISTORY OP NATICK« 23 

and let it teach us. Lord, take ns to be thy people, 
and let us take thee to be our God.' 

How long this form of government continued does not 
appear from any documents, which I have seen. As 
early as 1716, we find that they chose select men and 
other town officers, similar to those which are now cho- 
sen in the towns of Massachusetts. — Here follows a 
copy of the page above alluded to, now in possession of 
the Town Clerk of Na tick ; and in Eliot's hand writing. 
" 1660. — ^When they had thus cast themselves into this 
forme of Government, as it is written :T.then they Con- 
sidered how to order the Town of Natick ; and because 
all those Lands, or a great part at least, which belong to 
Natick, were the inheritance of John Speene and his 
brethren and kindred, therefore we thought it right that 
he and all his kindred should solemnly give up their 
right therein before the Lord, and give the same unto 
the publick interest, right and possession of the Towne 
of Naticke. They were all very willing so to do ; and 
therefore on a lecture day, pubiickly and splemnly be- 
fore the Lord and all the people, John Speen and all his 
kindred, friends and posterity gave away all their Right 
and interest, which they formerly had in the Land, in 
and about Natick, unto the public interest of the towne 
of Naticke, that so the praying Indians might then make 
a towne ; and they received nothing to themselves, saving 
interest in their wyers, which they had before put ; for 
Lands they would only take up lots, as others did, by 
the publick order and agreement of the towne, and at 
the same time they receive^ a gratuity unto their good 
Contentment." 

Under the foregoing, on the same page, there appears 
to be a similar quit claim from another family, which is 



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u 



HISTORT OF NATICK. 



not entire! J legible. Then foUows'the mbjoined Ikt of 



names as witnesses. 



Awasamog 

Ephraim 

Nolikow 

Pohkino* 

Qunpe* 

Monat* 



John Eliot Awonomog 

Waban Jethro 

Tataswony Sosuilnow 

Piambohoo Monequasn* 

Johquonam Nawanont 

Josias Quanupionit 

The names with this mark * are partly torn off at the 
end. — Quere. Is it not probable, that at the time of 
their baptism, or on some other occasion, the Indians 
sometimes had a Christian name prefixed to their In- 
dian one ; as Thomas Waban, Daniel Takawombpait ; 
and sometimes that they dropt their Indian name en- 
tirely, and assumed two Christian names ; ^s, Joseph 
Ephraim, John Thomas ? 

The wyers abovementioned, or as Walker gives us 
leave to spell the word, wears ^ weirs, or wiers^ were 
stone walls, built from each side of the river down 
stream, till they nejarly met each other at an angle of 
forty five degrees. At this point a large cage was pla- 
ced, formed of twigs fastened to hoops by strips of young 
elm, or other tough bark. • The wall conducted the fish, 
that were passing down the river, into this cage, which 
was called an eel pot, where they were taken in great 
abundance. Four of these walls were remaining^ not 
many years since, between the confluence of Sawin's 
brook with Charles river, and Loring's bridge ; but they 
are now removed. There is one, in a good state ot 
preservation, about a mile from Biglow^s mills, in an 
easterly direction, which is visible, when Newel's mill 
pond is low ; and another about as far below NewePs 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 26 

mills. In both these placesthe river is now the bounda- 
ry line between Needham and Dover. 

When Eliot had made considerable progress in his 
work, Major General Gookin of Cambridge, was ap- 
pointed superintendant of all the Indians, who had sub- 
jected themselves to the provincial government. He 
accompanied Mr. Eliot in his missionary tours. While 
one preached the Gospel, the other administered civil af- 
fairs among them, in 1675, when Philip's war broke 
out, the English inhabitants generally were jealous of 
the praying Indians, and would have destroyed them, 
had not General Gookin and Mr Eliot stepped forth in 
their defence. Gookin died in 1687, an old man, whose 
days were filled with usefulness. 

1651. This yeap the town was laid out. It is thus 
djBScribed by Gookin' in 1674. — It consists of three long 
streets, two on the north side of the river and one on 
the south, with house lots to every family. There is a 
handsome large fort, of a round figure, palisaded with 
trees; and a foot bridge over the river, in form of an 
arch, the foundation secured with stone. 

Though the town was thus laid out with regularity, it 
did not probably long continue in that form. Part of 
the tribe are said to have resided about Farm pond in 
Sherburne; others about Long pond in Natick and Bul- 
lard's pond, now in Needham, where indeed traces of 
their habitations are still visible. 

The trench of the circular fort, mentioned above, could 
be readily traced in its whole extent, when the ground 
was broken, preparatory to the erection of the last meet- 
ing house, which was built in 1828. The oldest man in 
town, Mr. Samuel Perry, aged 90, remembers to have 
stepped across the ditch, when a l)oy, to enter the seo 
md meeting house erected here. 
4 



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26 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

Extracts from the detached manuscripts, in posses- 
sion df the Town Clerk of Natick. 

1704. — ^Natick the 22th. of June 1704. — Jonathan 
Coolidge of Newtown Turns a bay mare in to Natick 
of three year old brand with Newtown brand. 

Mr John Gondray of Watertown hath Turn a mare 
of tark bay branded with W. on her neer shouldor and 
bromised to pay one bushill for old mare and other is a 
Coold. 

John Trobridge of New Town a mare and two 
Coulds a wall Eyed bromised to pay two Bushill of In- 
dian Corne. 

1713.— You you March ut Natick 9th 1713 noh Sol- 
odmons Tho. Waban sen and noh Sam Abraham and 

noh Wamsquon neit Tho. Peegan Osquah Grant 

Jury men Sam. Tom Constable and Sam Sokkor 

macho by Thomas Waban, Town Clert. 

1715.-^The Town Acts of Natick in the 18th April! 
1716. — You you matta wonk Howan vemmark kooh 
mokbukyvn: wattuhkonnaut wutch you : oh quombot 
oh noit Howan washout : Chokowo nee wuttissoon : 
makkow mohtukquash: vnnee wattuhkonaut noh pish 
oattohwaw : twenty Shillings : watcho pasuk mohtuck 
— you unni nashpee Tho Waban: Town Clerk you ut 
Qut quok you : vnnoomattooonk — 

Wassittukog you 
kottummoook Samuel Abraham 
Josiah Speen 
& John : wamsquon senr 

At a Generall Town meeting Natick upon 18th day 
Aprill 1715t|i. — Then we are all agreed and mad law 
amongs us our Selves that non of us shall seel any Tim- 
ber not to ye English if any of us do seal any Timber 
he shall forvit twenty Shillings to the Town use and 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 27 

payd to the Town next meeting after as attesd by me 
Thomas Waban Town Clerk. 

Natick September 24, 1716. — At a meeting of Pro- 
prietors of Natick orderly warned, &c. Voted 

1. That the Lands of Magunkodk be sold to the 
Trustees of Mr Hopkin's Legacy. 

2. That Capt. Thom. Waban, Sam. Abraham, Solo- 
mon Thomas, Abraham Speen, Thomas Pegan, Isaac 
Nehemiah and Benjamifa Tray be a Committee or 
Agents for the Proprietors of Natick, and be and are ful- 
ly Impowered to Act in behalf of the said Proprietors ; 
to Agree with Captain Sewall, Mr John Leverett, Ma- 
jor Fitch and Mf Daniel Oliver for ye Sale of the 
Lands of Magunkook, and to do all things requisite in 
the Law for ye effectual investing the Said Lands in ye 
Trustees of Mr Hopkins's Legacy. 

1716.— Natick 12th of March 1716. Neemunnoo 
Waban & Solomon Thomas & Samuell Apraim yeuk 
Selectmen, qutosquah Joseph Tapamaso & Joseph 
Ephraim youk Jureemen qut Thomas Peegun & Isaac 
Speen yeuk Constableooog : neit wonk osquah Sam. 
Ompeetawim & Jbsiah Speen yeuk neese servair 
nanauwantamwog Hygh ways you ut Natick. 

1719._Natick March 16th 1719. The Town pffe- 
sers ye year insuing. There was chosen Thos. Wa- 
ban senr. Samuell Abraham : Joseph Ephraim to be the 
Selectmen, of ye town — & John Pehtimee junior & 
Thomas Sootick to be Constables &— Simon Ephraim 
Isaac Monequsim : A Hogs Constabls — Benj. Tray : 
James Wiser survairs for Hiy ways. 

1720. — The Town of Natick had agreed with Josi- 
ah Shonks to Imply him of the preaching at Natick of 
6th months & begain at sd work 19th of December 
1720 and we OHgth to payd five pound at the end of the 



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^ HISTCHtT OF NATICK. 

6th months and the Mony should be delivered before 
the Honorable Captain Sewall Esqr. in Boston. 

1721.— Natick September ye 13th 1721— At a meet- 
ing of the Proprietors Lawfully warned for that purpose, 
then was Granted unto Mo^es Smith of Needham and 
to his hairs forever 40 acres of land lying on the south 
westerly side of Peegan Hill for finishing the Meeting- 
house if the Honoured Generall Court shall Pleas to 
Confirm the same and the Town hath this day Chosen 
Major Fullam and Liet. Thomas Sawen as our Comme- 
tee to see that the work be well done and we pray that 
the Honoured Court would pleas to accept them as 
such — and we have this day also Chosen Josiah Speen 
Solomon Thomas and Samuell Ompetawnn our Com- 
meety to acquaint Major Fullam with the same for 
appribation. 

J 733-4. — March 11th are the first names of Eng- 
lishmen, which I find on the list of the town officers, 
viz. Thomas Ellis, one of the tythingmen, and John 
Sawin, one of the constables. The rest Indians. 

1734-^.— March the 10th. This year I find the 
following list, composed of both nations. The Indians 
will be distinguished by the Italick character.— 7%om- 
as Peegun Moderator. [Coll. Fullam present.] Se- 
lectmen, Deacon Joseph Ephraim^ Thomas Peagutij 
Josiah Spean. — Town Clerk, David Morse. — Consta- 
bles, John Looker, Jeremiah Cojnecho. — Town Treasu- 
rer, David Morse. — ^Assessors, Ebenezer Felch, David 
Morse, Thomas Peagun. — Surveyors of high ways, 
'^' las Ellis, Nathaniel Coochuck. — Hay wards, Jona- 
Carver, WUliam Thomas. — Fence viewers, John 
1, Eleazer Annepogeni, Hezekiah Broad, Nathan- 
oochuck. — Sexton, Thomas Peagun. — Surveyor 
mp and Flax, David Morse. 



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HISTORY OF ITATICK. 



29 



I am Bot able to ascertain how long the two natums 
continued to divide the labours, honours and emolu- 
ments of office between them. No Indian is recorded, 
as having sustained any office after the township was 
, incorporated, as a parish ; but many are mentioned in 
the Proprietors^ Book, as committee men for laying out 
and disposing of the common and undivided lands. 

There is in possession of the Town Clerk a book of 
about 170 pages, in a pretty good state of preservation, 
with tbe following indorsement on the first page. 

^Natick Proprietors Third Book of records bought 
per their Order. 

By Wm. Rider June Anno 1722. Allowed aiid Ac* 
oepted of pr. Fra FuUam Justice of Peace,' 

The folbwmg is the first record in this book. 

< 1^19. — At a Generall Town Meeting of the Propri- 
etors, Freeholders & Inhabitants of ye Towa of Natick 
Orderly Warned and Mett together On Monday ye Mk 
Day,ofMay 1719, 

In Order to the better Stating, Distinguishing^ 
Knowing and Setling the Proprietors & Proprietee ta 
the Lands in Natick, inc. 

Francis Fullam, Esqr. Present at sd Meeting. 

Voted Unanimously at ye above said Meeting That 



Abi^ham Speea 
James Speen 
M^ses Speea 
Jdlsiah Speea 
Isaac Speei) 
John Speen 
Isaac MimiquatsiH 
John Wansamiig's heirs 
Ci^t. Thomas Waban 
TliooiaA Pegan 



Simon Ejrfiraim 
Benjamin Tray 
Samitel Bowman 
Saml. WiUs R^t 
Saml. Ump^tawin 
Hannah Tabomcsug 
S^^lomcn Thomas 
Israel Pt)eahamf6b 
SaMttel Abraham 
Thomas Nfebemiidi 



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30 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

Shall be henceforward Allowed Held Reputed & Distin- 
guished to be the Only & true Proprietors of Natick. — 
An abstract Taken Out of the Second Book of Records 
For the Town of Natick — In the keeping of the Hon- 
ble Francis FuUam Esqr. Examd. and Attested per Wm. 
Rider Proprietors' Clerk for Natick.' 

The probability is that the Proprietors' first and se- 
cond books are irrecoverably lost. 

William Rider belonged to Sherburne, and was con- 
tinued Proprietors' Clerk and Surveyor till 1741. — 
Ebenezer Felch of Natick was chosen Proprietors' 
Clerk and surveyor in his stead. He remained in of- 
fice till 1760. 

John Jones, Esqr. succeeded him for a short period. 
He lived on the farm now belonging to Mr Loring. It 
is situated on a promontory in the north part of Dover, 
and is washed on the east and west sides and the north 
end by Charles river. He belonged to Mr Badger's 
church ; was one of his Deacons ; a Colonel in the mil- 
itia; one of his Majesty's Justices of the peace before 
the revolution, and one under the State government af- 
ter it ; and a celebrated land surveyor. He died Feb. 2d. 
1802, aged 54. 

Elijah Goodenow was the last Proprietors' Clerk. 
He was remarkable for retaining his faculties, both bod- 
ily and mental, to a good old age. When he was from 
sixty to seventy years old, he used to sing the Counter 
of Billings's music, in a very appropriate style. He died 
at the age of 94. 

Francis FuUam, Esq. belonged to Weston, and was 
Superintendant over the Indians till 1741. 

The Proprietors' book is cliieHy filled with grants to 
individuals of common lands, and plans of the lots thus 
granted. A few of the votes there recorded are sub- 
joined. 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 31 

n^r-3 — A proprietors' meeting was warned to be 
held, March 22d. among other articles, ' To grant and 
Legallj^ Confirm Unto the Reverend Mr Oliver Peabo- 
dy their present minister Such quantity of Lands as 
May Suitably Incourage His Settlement So as to Live 
and Dye their Gospel Minister.' At this meeting 
* William Rider of Sherborn was chosen Clerk for sd. 
Proprietors ; also Capt. Thomas Waban, Joseph 
Ephraim, Samuel Abram, Solomon Thomas & Benja- 
min Tray were unanimously Chosen a Committee to 
pass Deeds of Conveyance to the Reverend Mr. Oliver 
Peabody of all Such Lands and Common rights as the 
Great & Generall Court Have- Granted for his En- 
couragement to Settle in the Work of the Gospel Min- 
istry in Natick aforesaid. — Also it was freely voted & 
Granted by the said proprietors, that the Reverend Mr 
Oliver Peabody aforesaid his heirs and Assigns for Ev- 
er Shall have and Enjoy an Interest in the Comn^on 
and undivided Lands in Natick afore sd. according to 
the proportion of a Sixty Acre Lott Provided it exceed 
not a fiftieth part of the said plantation of Natick. 

Allowed of by Francis FuUam Justice of Peace.' 

1723-4.— March 2d. 'Revd. Mr Peabody had lib- 
erty to take up one acre of land for conveniency of mills, 
where Lieut. Sawin's new mill stands by Charles Riv- 
er in Natick as part of his common right in the future 
division (which being accounted better as the proprie- 
tors think) Mr Peabody shall count it as six acres on- 
ward of his right in the next division of the commons,' 

Lots of land were granted to Mr Peabody, till the 
above votes were carried fully into effect. The whole 
amounted to two hundred and eleven acres. 

1728,— June 24th. ' Voted that the Revd. Mr Pea- 
body during his continuance in the work of the minis- 



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82 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

try in Natick have the sole use and improvement of the 
ministerial Lett.' 

* November 25th. At a meeting of proprietors 
Voted, that Mr John'Goodenow shall have liberty to , 
take up the quantity of two acres, and 44 rods by stone 
fort.' This fort stood on the high ground, at a small 
distance from the house where Mr John Jennings now 
lives, in a southerly direction. There are no traces of 
it npw remaining. 

** Voted, that there be a contribution for ye Revd Mr 
Peabody, the last Sabbath in every month. Lieut 
Wamsquon to hold the box." 

1731-2, — Ebenezer Felch receipts for six pounds, 
for keeping school in Natick. 

1733. — Ebenezer Felch receipts for four pounds, for 
keeping school. 

1737. — Septr. 19th, Voted to make sale of one hun- 
dred and fifty pounds worth of common lands, the income 
and yearly interest whereof, to be towards the main- 
tainance of a school in Natick. 

1762- — March 30th. Voted to dismiss Francis Ful- 
Jam, Esqr, (who desired to be dismist) and choose Jon- 
athan Richardson in his room, to procure their rent 
money, of their Maguncog lands, and pay it to each 
proprietor, according to his proportion. 

1754. — March 12th. Voted to sell so much of our 
common and undivided lands, as will be sufficient to 
raise money to pay for a lot of land, which we have en- 
gaged to procure for our Revd Minister, [Mr Badger] 
and choose Deacon Ephraim, John Ephraim, and Ben- 
jamin Tray, a committee to execute legal deeds of the 
same, in behalf of the proprietors. Eighty three acres 
were sold, agreeably to this vote. 

YxAeAf to dispose of the old meting housa, and miM. 



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HISTORY OF NAXrCK. . S3 

may be serviceable in the new meeting house, may be 
used therefor, and the value thereof set to the Indians' 
account, and the remaining part of the old meeting 
house be sold by the committee that are chosen to lay 
out their common land, and to be divided amongst the 
proprietors ; and that said committee together with the 
Indian Guardians, be judges of the equivalent. 

1787. — Feb. 5th. The last article in .the Proprie- 
tors' Book is in substance as follows ; whereas there are 
several small parcels of broken land in the Town and 
Propriety of Natick, that are unappropriated and not 
capable of a division among the pr()prie tors, who are 
poor and unable to pay for the survey of the same ; and 
the whole being of small value ; therefore voted unani- 
mously, that the Clerk to the said proprietors be desired 
and directed to sign the petition to the General Court, 
praying for power to sell the remaining common lands 
in s^id Natick, and after paying charges, subdivide the 
money arising from said sale among the proprietors. 
From 1720 to 1769 I find grants of common lands to 
about 60 English, and to about 100 Indians. I am in- 
formed, on good authority, that in 1764 there werq 65 
white families settled in the township, and that at that 
time they greatly outnumbered the Indians. 

Historical Scraps from various sources, ar- 
ranged IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. — 1663.^-A dedi- 
cation of the New Testament, and another of the 
whole Bible, in the Natick dialect, the former da- 
ted 1663, 'to the High and Mighty Prince Charles 
the Second, by the grace of God, King, &c.' are pre- 
served in the CoUectbns of the Massachusetts Histori- 
cal Society, for the year 1800, pp. 222—228. 
5 



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84 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

1669 — ^The humble petition of John Eliot, in the behalf of 
the poorlndians of Natik 

Sheweth, — ^That whereas this honored Court did appoint a Com- 
mittee, to fix a Ime betwixt Dedham and Natik, bounding on each 
other, viz. the worshipful mr. Ting, mr. Jackson, Deakon Park 
& leiftenant Cook of Boston, who took pains in it & the record of 
then: determination is accepted, and put into the Court records. 
Nevertheless some of Dedham doe invade our line, upon one side 
th^y forbid the Indians to plant, take away theire raiUs, which 
they have prepared to fence theire corne fields, and on another 
side, have taken away theire lands, & sold ym to others, to the 
trouble and wonderment of the Indians, these are humbly to re- 
quest this honored Court to impower the same worshipfull Com- 
mittee, & request ym once more to take pains, & goe to the place, 
wt. ye. have allready done, fc'requesl our brethren of Dedham 
to be quiet, in l<Bt us peacably injoy our owne. So committing this 
honored Court unto the Lord, fc to the word of his grace I re- 
maine 

your humble petitioner 

John Eliot, 

This petition was granted 20th. May, 1669, and at- 
tested by Edw. Rawson, Secretary andWilliam Torrey, 
Clerk. 

This and several other documents, in this work, are from 
Manuscripts in the hand writing of Eliot and Gookin, 
in the possession of Lemuel Shattuck, Esqr. of Con- 
cord, Ms. to whom the compiler is under great obliga- 
tions for his polite and friendly assistance. 

To the honored Gen Court 

The humble Petition of John Eliot in the behalf of the poor 
Indians of Natik fc Magwonkkommuk this 14ih of the 8. 69. 
Sheweth, — ^That whereas, in the Record of the bounds of Na- 
tik there is a liberty given ym to seek out elsewhere 90 acres of 
meadow, & the Court will grant the same &; seeing there is no 
such meadow to be found, fc of late the Indians have learned to 
make cedar shingles & clarboards, unto which work in moyling in 
the swamps ye are fitter jm many English, h many English 
choose rather to buy jrm of the Indians, yn make ym themselves, 
therefore humbly to request that theire grant of meadow 
imed into ungranted cedar swamps, one by the way to- 
idon, fc others toward Nipmuk. Furthermore whereas 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 85 

a company of new praymg Indians are set downe in the w^steili* 
most corner of Natik bounds called Magwonkkomtauk who have 
called one to rule, & another to teach ynt, of wm the latter is of 
the Church, the former ready to be joyned h tliere is not fit Ittnd 
fo^ planting, toward Natik, but westward there is though very rocky, 
these are humbly to request yt fit accommodations may be allowed 
ym westward. & thus committing this honorable Court utito the 
holy guidance of the Lord I rest 

your humble petitioner 

John Eliot. 
The petition for cedar swamps was not granted. On the other 
petition Ens John Grout & Thomas Eames were appointed a com- 
mittee to view and report. Attested by Edw. Rawson &t William 
Torrey, 21 Octobe|^,-1669. 

Shattuck^s Manuscripts. 

1671. — August 1st. Two natives^ named Anthony 
and William, were sent by " the poor church of Natick," 
with written instructions, signed, " John Eliot, with the 
consent of the church," to the Missogkonnog Indians 
and to the English of Aquidnick and Plymouth for the 
purpose of preventing a war between those Indians and 
the English.— Coll. M. H. S. for 1799, pp. 201^203, 

1674. — Gookin'sent Jethro of Natick, in September 
of this year, to Nashua (Lancaster) to preach to his 
countrymen, whom Eliot had never visited. Jethro 
was one ot the most distinguished of the converted In- 
dians, who in general made but sorry Christians. One 
of the tribe happened to be present at the Court, and 
declared "that he was desirously willing, as well as some 
other of his people, to pray to God ; but that there were 
sundry of that people very wicked and much addicted 
to drunkenness, and thereby many disorders were com- 
mitted amongst them f and he intreated Gookin to put 
forth his power to suppress this vice. He was asked 
whether he would take upon him the office of constable, 
and receive power to apprehend drunkards, and bring 



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36 HISTORY OF NATICIT. 

the delinquents before the court, to receive punishment. 
He answered that he would first speak with his friends, 
and if they chose him and strengthened his hands in 
the work, he Would come for a black staff and power. 
It is not known that Jethro's exhortation produced any 
effect. Willard^s History of Lancaster. 

There were at this time twenty nine Indian families 
in Natick, amounting to one hundred and forty five indi- 
viduals. 

Tradition says that three hundred training soldiers of 
this nation once paraded at Natick. But this was un- 
doubtedly a general muster from most, if not all the 
praying towns in Massachusetts. 

1675,— It is said that, about this time, the Marlbo- 
rough Indians, who remained at home, were suspected 
of treachery, as were those of Natick and all other pray- 
ing towns. Representations to that effect were made 
to the governor, (l^everett) who dispatched a company 
of soldiers, under the command of Capt. Mosely, to con- 
vey them to Boston. This company reached Marlbo- 
rough in the night ; and early in the morning, before 
the Indians had any suspicion of their design, surround-, 
ed the fort, to which they were accustomed to repair at 
night, seized on their arms, and obliged them to surren- 
der. They made no resistance, were taken into the 
custody of the soldiers, had their hands tied behind them, 
and being connected by a c^rt-rope, were driven down to 
Boston, in company with the Indians of Natick and oth- 
er places, thence hurried down to Long Island, (Hutch- 
inson says. Deer Island) in the harbour, where they re- 
mained all winter and endured inexpressible hardships. 
The ground of the harsh measures, adopted in reference 
to the Indians, in the neighborhood of Boston, was the 
perfidious conduct of the Springfield Indians, in assist- 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 37 

ing in the destruction of Westfield, Hadley and other 
places in October, 1675. Allenh History of NortKbo- 
. rough. 

1676. In the beginning of this year James Quanna- 
paug and another Indian by the name of Job, of the Na- 
tick tribe, were sent out by the English, from Deer Isl- 
and, as spies to make discoveiy of the enemy. They 
found about three hundred warriors, besides women and 
children, about thirty miles from Lancaster. They 
also visited the enemy at several other places, were by 
some suspected as spies and threatened with de^th ; but 
managed so artfully as to be protected by the chiefs. 
Being informed that in about twenty days Philip's army 
intended to fall upon Lancaster, Groton, Marlborough, 
Sudbury and Medfield, they made their escape ; andQuan- 
napaug returned with the intelligence. His letter is dated 
24th 1 1 th mo. answering to Jan. 24, 1 676. Sixteen days 
after this Lancaster was attacked by fifteen hundred 
warriors, and totally destroyed ; and the other towns 
mentioned above, soon after shared largely in the same 
calamity. Coll M. H. S.for 1199, pp. 205—208. 

For the Honorable Governor & counsel of the Colony of Mas- 
sachusetts. 

These are to certify that I John Watson Senior being appointed 
By thehonorable Committee ; to Looke to the indians last summer 
until after the Indian Harvest Did goe up to marlborough and 
Accompanied the Indians that belonged to that place and were 
abiding at Naticke to gather and put by their corne in Indian 
bames : which corne as I was informed the Country after made use 
of: And I remember sd Indians yt had come there were these that 
follow, vizt 

bis 
Josiah Nowett about 14 

Benjamin about 10 

Peter Nashems widdow 15 

Old Nashem about 10 



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38 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

Mary a widdow cozen to James Speen 16 

James Wisers wife about 10 

Davids widdow about 06 

Thomas his widdow about 09 

89 bush. 
Most of these Indians were confined to Dearre Island last win- 
ter. Datted January Uth 1676 The poor Indians above named 
desire that the honored Counsel would please to order the treas- 
urer to repay ym yr come. John Watson. 

The truth of what is above written is knowne unto divers Inhab- 
itants of Marlborough. 

Daniel Gookin Sen 

ShcUtuck^s Manuscripts. 
1676 November 10th. — A account of the disposall of the In- 
dians our friends [protempore] presented to the Counsil [at their 
desire] by Daniel (Jookin Sen. 

The Naticke Indians are disposed in fouer .companies, as fol- 
loweth, vizt. one company with James Rummny Marsh ta Us kin- 
dred live in MeadfielJ with the approbation and consent of the en- 
Men. Women Sl Children. 

glish there are in number about 25 25 

Another company live near Naticke adjojming to the garison 
house of Andrew Dewin & his Sons, [who desure theur neighbour- 
hood] &; are under their inspection the number of these may bee 
about 50 souls 10: 40 

A 3 company of them vniAi Waban, live neare the falls of Charles 
river near to the house of Joseph Miller & not farr from Capt 
Prentic the number of these may bee about 60 souls whereof 
are 12: 50 

A fourth company dwell at noantum : hill neare Leift Trow- 
bridge &; John Coom3 who permits them to build their wigwams 
upon his ground the nimiber of this company including some jt 
live neare John Whites of mudy river k, a family or two neare 
;mr. Sparhake &; Daniel Champney h mr. Thomas Olivers, who 
ure employed by the said persons to cut wood &; spin & make 
.stone walls beeing but a small distance from ye hill cm nonantum 
where their meeting is to keepe Sabbath there may bee about 75 
souls 15 60 

Among the Natick Indians are to bee reckoned such as are left 
which came in with John of Pakchoog : which are not many, for 
sundry of yt company are dead (since they came in): above thirty 
are put out to service to the english (fit three were executed ^bout 
Tho Eames his burning above twenty rami away : and generally 
such as remaine are of those Indians yt formerly (before ye war) 
lived under our government at Hassanumesit magunkog, marlbo- 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 39 

rough h waitiesitt. The men belonging to these are not above 15 
and they are abroad ii;i the array at the eastward, under Capt. 
Hunting. 

Shattvck^s Manuscripts^ ' 



1677.-^2 mt. ye 13th day 1677. Assembled to pre- 
pair for the exchange of Land between Natick and Sher- 
born as in our judgment have Ben given at the Court 
by mr. Eliot and Major Gookin. 

March ye 9 day It was then voted and concluded 
that propositions should be made to major Gookin and 
Mr. Eliot and to the Indians in referring to the ex- 
change of Land between Natick and Sherborne, as to 
give Fifty pound in Curant pay and as much Land as a 
Comity by the general Court shall think meet. Sher- 
lyv^m^ Records. . 

Xhe Indians making daily inroads upon the weak un- 
fenced places (in Maine) the governor and council re-- 
solved to raise new forces ; and having had good expe- 
rienpe of the faithfulness and valour of the Christian In- 
dians about Natick, armed two hundred of them, and 
sent them together with forty English, to prosecute the 
quarrel with the eastward Indians to the full. Hub- 
bard? s History. 

Tbje phrase, " about Natick," leads us to suppose that 
5^11 the praying towns, of which Natick was considered 
a sort of shire town, contributed their qi^otas to these 
fqrces. By Phillip's wat many of the Indian praying 
towns were entirely broken up, and the progress of civ- 
ilizatipi^ and Christianity in all the rest was greatly in- 
terrupted. 

1679 — .The inhabitants of Sherbom exchanged with 
Natick four thousand acres of land, more or less, giving 
twP huftdred bushels of Indian graine to boot. There 



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40 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

was also to be a lott of fifty acres sett out where the 
Commissioners of ye Colonies, Major Gookin & Mr. 
Eliot and Indian Rulers shall choose within that tract of 
land which Sherborn was to have of Natick, to be ap- 
propriated forever to the use of a free school, for teach- 
ing the English and Indian children the English lan- 
guage and other sciences. 

Daniel Gookin, senr. Waban — mark — 

Nath'l Go )kin Pimbow — mark — 

Edward West John Awonsamug 

Daniel Morse Peter Ephraim 

Thomas Eames Daniel [probably 
Henry Ley land Tabawombpait.] 

Obediah Morse Sherburne Records. 

1684. — The Indians of Natick and Wamesit (now 
part of Tewksbury) who belonged to the same tribe 
with the Marlborough Indians, laid claim to a right in 
the soil of that town, which had been cultivated by the 
English nearly thirty years. The town paid them thir- 
ty one pounds for a deed in full, which was signed by 
twenty six Indians, besides two witnesses of the same 
nation. Six of these wrote their own names ; the rest 
made their mark. — Allenh Hist. Northb. 

1685. — John Dunton, a London bookseller, who vi- 
sited Boston on business this year, gives a pleasant ac- 
count of a journey which he made to Natick. After 
visiting Mr Eliot at Roxbury, who presented him with 
twelve Indian Bibles, he says, 'on my return I found 
several of my friends making ready for a journey to Na- 
tick. I was glad of the opportunity to acquaint myself 
with the manners, religion and government of the In- 
dians. When we were setting forward, I was forced, 
out of civility and gratitude, to take madam Brick be- 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 41 

hind me on horseback. It is true she was the flower of 
Boston, but in this case proved no more than a beauti- 
ful sort of luggage to me. 

1693. — The Indian church at Natick, (which was 
the first Indian church in America) is, since blessed El- 
iot's death much diminished and dwindled away. But 
Mr Daniel Gookin has bestowed his pious cares upon 
it. — Magnalia^ Vol. 2rf, p. 382. 

This Daniel Gookin was minister of Sherburne, and 
son of the superintendent of the Indians. 

16y8. — Grindal Rawson and Samuel Danforth spent 
from May 30th to June 24th, in visiting the several 
plantations of Indians in Massachiisetts. Thp follow- 
ing is their report respecting the Indians at Natick. 

At Natick we find a small Church consisting of sev- 
en men and three women. Their pastor (ordained by 
that reverend and holy man of God, Mr John Eliot, de- 
ceased) is Daniel Tokkowompait, and is a person ot 
good knowledge. Here are fifty nine men and fifty one 
women, and seventy children under sixteen years of 
age. We find no schoolmaster here, and but one child 
that can read. Grindal Rawson. 

Boston, July 12, 1698. Samuel Danforth. 

1746. — Jan. 3d. Natick was * erected into a pre- 
cinct or parish' by an act of the General Court. In 
this act the English inhabitants only wiere included, the 
Indians being under guardianship. From this time the 
records have been kept with a good degree of correct- 
ness ; but there are not many articles worth copying. 
The most wortl^y of notice are here transcribed. 

1746. — Octr. 1st. Voted not to have a school this 
year. Granted 85 pounds to buy ammunition for a par- 
ish stock. - 

1746-7. — Granted 40 pounds, old tenor, to be laid 
out in a reading and writing school. 



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42 HISTORY OF NATiCK. 

1749-50.— Jan. 5th. Voted to accept Mr Oliver 
Peabqdy as the parish minister, and grant him three 
hundred pounds, old tenor, yearly salary, upon c6ndition 
he will come to th^ centre of the parish to preach, and 
so long as he preaches there, or supplies the pa^sh with 
preaching there. 

Here perhaps is as proper a place, as I shall find, to 
notice a controversy which raged with too much bitter- 
ness, during the remainder of Mr Peabody's ministry, 
and the whole of Mr Badger's, respecting the location 
of the house for publick worship. The two first meet- 
ing houses were built entirely for the use of the Indians, 
who wer^ principally settled in the southerly part of the 
town. The third house also was erected chiefly for 
the same purpose and on the same site. The English 
likewise at first mostly settled in this vicinity, and were 
accommodated by such a location. Those who after- 
wards settled in the north part of the town, were at from 
five to six miles distant, and of course were incommoded 
and uneasy. Many votes were past and reconsidered, 
to move the house or build a new one, till one was final- 
ly erected near the centre, A. D. 1799. 

Those whb were active in this controversy, are chief- 
ly gone to their long home, and their contentions and 
aninlosities are interred with their bones. It is th^ du- 
ty and inclination of their posterity to let them repose 
together in silence. 

A list of the names of the Indians old and young, male 
and female, which lived iii, or belonged to Natick, was 
taken June 16, 1749, and published in mstorical Col- 
lections^ Vol. 10, page 134. By this it appears that 
there were at that time 166 Indians belonging to Na- 
tick ; 42 on the south side of Charles river ; 64 south 
of Sawpit hill on Pegan plain ; 16 west of Sawpit hill : 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 43 

26 south east of Pegan plain ; and all were accommoda- 
ted as the meetmg house then stood. 

A plan of the township, in the possession of Samuel 
Fiske, Esqr. bears the following inscription. — * This is 
a Plan of the Roads and the situation of the houses in 
the Parish of Natick. The red spots are English hou- 
ses and the black spots are Indian houses or wigwams. 
Laid down by, the scale of two hundred rods to an inch. 
August 1st, 1749. Samuel Livefmore, Surveyor.' ' This 
plan is somewhat defaced, but there appear to be about 
40 black spots apd about 50 red ones. 

As there is^ no hill now known by the name of Saw- 
pit, it is left to conjecture which one was intended 
above. 

1768. — Octr. 2d. Voted that the parish committee 
should fence the English burying places with stone 
wall. 

1763.— March 31st. Voted to finish the galleries' 
and build gallery stairs in the meeting house. 

1765. — Septr. ^3d. Voted to finish the meeting 
house by a considerable majority. 

1767. — March 4th. Granted 40 pounds towards fin- 
ishing the meeting house. ' 

1775. The inhabitants of this town were universal- 
ly and Jealously opposed to the measures of the Brit- 
ish government, which resulted in. American indepen^ 
dence. 

Jan. Sd. — ^Monday — ^Voted not to send to the Pro- 
vincial Congress — to choose a Committee of Inspection, 
and made choice of Capt. James Mann, Mr Oliver Ba- 
con and Lieut Ephraim Jennings^to choose a Com- 
mittee of Correspondence, and made choice of Lieut 
William Boden, Capt Joseph Morse and Lieut Abel 
Perry. 



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44 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

March 6th. — ^Voted t© raise 18 minute men. 
March 13th. — Voted not to pay the minute men— 
that the Constables should pay the Province taxes to 
Henry Gardner, Esq. of Sto'^, as Receiver General, 
ami to indemnify the Constables- 
April 19th. — On this memorable morning, as one of 
the survivors lately expressed it, every man was a minr 
ute man. The alarm was given earJy, and all marched 
full of spirit and energy to meet the British. But few 
had an opportunity to attack them. Caesar Ferrit and 
his son John arrived at a house near Lexington meeting 
house, but a short time before the British soldiers reach- 
ed that place, on their retreat from Concord. These 
two discharged their muskets upon the regulars from 
the entry, and secreted themselves under the cellar 
stairs, till the enemy had passed by, though a consider- 
able number of them entered the house and made dili- 
gent search for their annoyers. 

This Caesar, was a great natural curiosity. He was 
born <m one of the West India islands, and was accus- 
tomed^ to boast, that the blood of four nations run in his 
veins ; for one of his Grandfathers was a Dutchman, 
the other a Frenchman ; and one of his grandmothers 
an Indian, and the other an African. He married a 
white New England woman, and they had several chil- 
dren, in whose veins, if Caesar's account of himself be 
true, flowed the blood of five nations. His son John 
served through the revolutionary war, and is now a 
pensioner. 

May 12th. — ^Voted to dismiss Capt Joseph Morse, 
Lieut William Boden and Lieut Abel Penry from beting 
Select men, as they are going into the Massachusetts 
service. 

Captain Morse was considered a valuable officer, tose 



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HISTORY OF HATiCK. 45 

to tlie rank of Major, remaioed in the service till the 
year 1779, when he came home an invalid, and died on 
the 16th of December, of the saune year, aged 39. The 
other two Boon exchanged the implements of war for 
those of husbandry, and lived to aa advanced age* 

1776.— May 20th. The first warrant on record for 
a district meeting, granted in the name of the Goverih* 
n^at and People^ of Massachusetts Bay, bears thisdate^ 

June 20th. — A very spirited report of a committee^ 
consisCu^ of Revd Stephein fiadger, Capt John Goo- 
ledge and Mr Daniel Morse, solemnly engaging to sap- 
port tbe Honorable Continental Congress with their 
lijt^es and fortunes, should said Congress declar^e thexBr 
s^lvess independent of the Kingdom of Great Britaia, 
WM wanimmidy accepted. 

July 3d.' — ^Voted seven pounds, as m additional Hvm 
to cbe boitaity of iseven pounds, that the Colony ^v^ to 
those that en\^ into the Canada expedition. 

Indeed the votes passed through the whole of the 
revolutionary stri^le prove, that Natick furnished 
meii, aifed complied with other requisitions for parrying 
on the war. with as much zeal and alacrity, as many 
langer md more opulent villages. 

1778.— I^ay 7th. Voted not to ocmfirm the new 
constitution, by a majority of forty nine, , 

1781.— -This yeajT Natick was inoorporatod as a toTvn, 
Feb. 19t^ 

1786. — This was the season of Shay|'s rebellion^ 
when not only every full growa male citizen but 
eveorjr sdiool boy was a ^governmenUmafiJ The^i it 
was( the fate of every barndoor fowl, that was clothed 
in white, to beoome a sacrifice to law and good <H:de( ; 
for the feathers rose to the hat crown, in the shap^ of 
a cockade, and^he carcass was stowed in the knapiwk 
of the soldier, as part of his rations. 



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46 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

One Lieutenant, one Serjeant, a Drum and Fife Ma- 
jor, and eight, or ten rank and file joined Lincoln's ar- 
my, and assisted in restoring peace and order, 

1787.— Jan. 30th. Voted that Capt. Asa Drury 
open a subsciription, to see who will subscribe money, 
or other necessaries, for the use of the soldiers that have 
been, or shall be ordered to march, on the present expe- 
dition ; also voted six shillings for each of said Soldiers, 
as a bounty. 

March 6th. Granted 10 pounds to buy ammuni- 
tion. 

Nov. 23d. Chose Major Hezekiah Broad delegate 
to represent the town in Convention. This was the 
convention which adopted the Federal Constitution. 
The good Major voted against it ; but immediately ac- 
quiesced in the doings of the majority, and promised to 
do all in his power to defend this palladium of our lib- 
erty, safety and prosperity. This promise he faithfully 
fulfilled, so long as he lived. He died mtich respected 
and lamented, March 7th. 1823, aged 78. 

1794. — Septr. 1st. Voted to pay the soldiers one 
dollar as a bounty for inlisting, and two dollars more^ 
if they march out of the state. This vote has reference, 
it is supposed, to those who enlisted iuto the Oxford ar- 
my, as it was called. 

1797.— By an act of the General Court, passed this 
year, an alteration was made in the line between Need- 
ham and Natick, by which sixteen hundred and fifty 
six acres of land were set off from Needham to Natick, 
and in exchange, four hundred and fo^ir acres and an 
half, exclusive of pond, were set off from Natick to 
Needham ; leaving a balance in favour of 'Natick of 
twelve hundred fifty one and a half acres. — PcUmer^s 
Century Sermon. 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 47 

EcLEsiASTicAL HisTORY.— r/oAn EUot, who is justly 
Styled 'The, Apostle to the Indians,' must be consider- 
ed as the founder olNatick both in church and state. 
'Memoirs 6f his Life^and Character' have been publish- 
ed by Revd. Martin Moore, minister of the first church 
in this place ; and as his book is, or ou^ht to be, in eve- 
ry family in the town, and in every library, where there 
is any desire to be acquainted with the early history 
of our country, I refer the reader to that work for a par- 
ticular account of this great and good man. I shall 
give a brief and general biographical sketch of him, 
considering him as the first minister of the town, though 
not ordaii^ed over this particular < hqrch and congrega- 
tion. 

He was bom iu England A. D. 1604. His parents 
gave him a liberal education, and were examplary for 
their piety ; — for this their memory is precious. ' I do 
si5e,' says this excellent man, ' that it was a favour from 
God to me that my first years were seasoned with the 
fear of GOD, the word and prayer.' 

In the year 1631, he arrived at Boston, and the suc- 
ceeding year, Nov. 6, 1632, was settled as teacher of 
the church in Roxbury. As was customory in those 
days, Roxbuiy had two ministers, one styled teacher the 
other pastor. The latter office was filled by other, 
persons, during Eliot's life, which enabled him to be ab- 
sent, as a missionary, without leaving his flock des^^ 
titute. 

Being moved with compassion for the ignorant and 
^ degraded state of the Indians, he determined to devote 
a part of his time to their instruction. For this pur- 
pose he undertook the almost hopeless task jof learning 
their language, by the assistance of a young native, 
who could speak English. The enormous length of 



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48 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

their words, the harshness of their pronunciation, 
which frequently codld hardly be called articulation, 
would have discouraged any, but a mind of the most 
extraordinary zeal and perseverance, 

*Our readers, will stand aghast,' says Cotton Mather, 
* at a few instances. The words ' our lusts ' are expres- 
sed in Indian by a Word of thirty two letters — ^Nummat- 
chekodtautamoonganunnonash. But this is still out- 
done by the word — Kummogkodonattoottummooetiteaon- 
gannunnonash, where forty three letters are employed to 
express our question.' Some suppose that, in such in- 
stances as these, Eliot has mistaken a circumlocution 
for a single word. Of this language he publishied a 
grammar, and into it translated catechisms and other, 
tracts, and finally the whole Bible, which Mather says, 
he wrote with one pen. 

As a further specimen af the Indian language, the 
reader is here presented with the title page of Eliot's 
Bible. 

Mamusse 

Wunneetupanatamwe 

Up BiBLUM God 

Naneeswe 

NtKKONE Testament 

Kah Wonk 

WusKU Testament. 

The following specimen of the Lord's prayer, in the 
Natick dialect^ with a German interlineary translation, 
and a grammatical apalysis of the language, may be 



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iilSTOEY OF NATICK. 



4& 



found in the eelebratedworkof John Chriiitopher Adel- 
reng of Dresden, entitled : * Mithridates, oder allgemeine 
Sprachenkunde mit deur Vater Unser als Sprachprole 
in bey nnahe preuf hundert Sprahen und Mundanten.' 

Mithridat^s^ or general science of languages^ with the 
Lord^s prayer^ as a specimen^ in nearly five hundred 
languages and dialects.^ — Th, III. Ab. IIL S. 386. 
Berlin. 1812. ^ 

The Translation of the Lord's prayer is from Eliot^ai 
trandation of the Bible into the Indian language^ print- 
ed at Cambridge, A. D. 1663; the title of which has 
been given above. ' 



heaven in 
kesukqut; 

come 
Peyaumuuteh 



Our father 
Nushun 

thy name 
ktowesuonk ; 

thy will I 
Kuttenanta,moonk nen 

as heaven in 

oeane kesukqut ; 

daily give us 

asekesukokish asamsiiinean 

and - forgive 

Kab 



hallowed 
Quttianatamunach 

thy kingdom 
kukketassutamoonk ; 

done earth on 
nach ^ ohkeit 

our food < 

Nummeetsuongash s 

this this day 
yeuyeu kesukod; 



us 



our 
nummatch- 



sms as 

4Sseongash 

we forgive 
tiutahquontamounnonog ; 

us ' not 

pagunaiinnean en 

Oh deliver 



ahquontamaunnean ^ 

wicked-doers 
neane matchenekuk quengig 

them Also lead * 

Ahque sagkom-' 

temptation in 
qutchhi^nganit ; 

us evil 

wutch match 



Webe pohquohwussinnean 

from for thine 

itut ; Newuiche kutahtaun 



kingdom 
ketassutamoonk 



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60 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

and powet and glory 

kah menuhkesuonk kah sohsumoonk 

forver Amen, 

micheme. . Amen. 

The situation and character of the Indians, in their 
savage state, have been so often described, that a repe- 
tition of the description here is unnecessary. October 
28th, 1646, having given previous notice to Waban a 
principal man aihong them, and to some other Indians, 
w^ho had pitched their wigwams, at a place called by 
them Nonantum, a hill in the northeast corner of New- 
ton, next to Brighton, he proceeded to their residence, 
with three friends. His- first discourse was from Ezekiel 
xxxvii, 9: After a short prayer, he rehearsed and ex- 
plained the ten commandments. He then described 
the character of Christ,, told them in what manner he 
appeared on earth, where he now is, and that he would 
come again to Judgment, when the wicked would be 
punished and the good rewarded. He spoke of the 
creation and fall of man; then persuaded them to repent 
to pray to God, and own Christ as their Saviour. 

Besides preaching to them frequently at Nonantum 
and other places, he frapied two catechisms, one for chil- 
dren and one for adults. The questions in these he 
propounded on one lecture day to be answered on the 
next. After catechising and preaching to them, he gave 
them liberty to propound questions anfj closed with 
prayer. . 

After having^ met with much opposition especially 
from the Sachems and Powows, and, in an eminent de- 
gree, 'endured hardness as a good soldter of Jesus 
Christ,' with no small success in convincing them of 
the advantages of civilization, isi considerable body of 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. frl 

converts united together at Natick, under his direc- 
tion, in 1650. They continued several years under 
the character of catechumens ; and were visited during 
their probation by Eliot, or some other minister, every 
week, who preached on some article of faith and an- 
swered such questions as the Indians proposed to 
them. . 

One* of his first objects wa^ to teach them to read 
and write, and raise up schoolmasters and religious 
teachers of their own tribe to instruct others. He took 
Monequessun, an ingenious Indian, into his. house ; and 
having taught him to read and write, made him school 
master at Natick. He observes in one of his publica- 
tions, * it hath pleased Gqd to stir up the hearts of ma- 
ny of them to learn to read' and write, wherein they, do 
profit with little help, being very ingenious.' 

Of those, whom he undertook to train up for reli- 
gious instructers, he observes, * assuredly I find a good 
measure of ability in them, not only in prayer inivhich 
they exceed my expectation, but in the rehearsing such 
scriptures, as I havq expounded, and in e^cpounding and 
applying them, as they have heard me do.' 

A day was at length appointed, which they called 
* Natootomakteackesuk,' or the day of asking questions ; 
when many ministers and their friends, assisted by the 
best interpreters, met at Natick to judge of the fitness 
of the Indiails to be admitted to church communion. 
This great assembly was held on the 13th. of Oc- 
tober, 1652, when about fifteen Indians made distinct 
and open confessions of their faith in Christ, and of 
the efficacy of the word upon their minds. A num- 
ber of them were .baptized at this time, but they were 
kept in the state of catechumens until 1660, when the 
first Indian church was formed. 



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6% HISTORY OF NATICK. 

Of this church no records are to be found, and but 
few items respecting it in the early histories of our coun- 
try. We are not informed how many were first embod- 
ied« Son^e pious Indians from other places joined 
them ; and in 1670 the number of communicants was 
between forty and fifty. 

To fully understand and duly appreciate the charac- 
ter of this truly reverend man, it is necessary to be tho^ 
roughly acquainted with the history of his life and la- 
bours. The amiable qualities of the disciple th^t Jesus 
loved, and .the zeal, fortitude and perseverance of the 
first apostle to the gentiles, have, perhaps, never been 
united to a greater degree in any one, since the .first 
attempts to propagate our holy religion. 

He died. May ^h. 1690, aged about 86 yearsw His 
last words were " welcome joy^^^ 

Daniel Takawombpait. This is the spelling of the 
name of this worthy Aboriginal on his grave stone. In 
a deed, dated April 8, 1692, and signed with his own 
h^d, the spelling is Takawompbait. This deed^ con- 
veying a meadow to John Sawin, was presented some 
years since to the Historical Library in Boston, by the 
late Capt. David Bacon. In witnessing the Marlbo- 
rough deed, it seems he wro^ Takawompait. In the 
communication of Rawson and Danforth, in a former 
page, it is written Tokkowompait. ^ 

He was ordained b^ Eliot, but at what time 
does not appear. Increase Ms^her, in a letter to Pro- 
fessor Leusden of Utrecht, dated 1687, writes as fol- 
lows; " The pastor of the church of Natick, is an Indian, 
his name is Dai^ieL" He is said by Rawson and Dan- 
forth to have been " a person of good knowledge." 

A handsome stone wall now crosses his grave by the 
road side, a few rods in front of the south meeting 



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HISTORY OF NATfCK. 63 

liouse. A humble stone, probably erected soon after 
his interment, is preserved in a niche in this wall, marks 
the spot where his remains repose, and bears the fol- 
lowing inscription, < 
Here lyes the 

Body of Daniel 

Takawombpait 

Aged 64 years. 

Died September 

the I7th. 1716. 
Olivier Peabody. — The following sketch is abridged 
from an article in the Panoplist, for JuJy 1811, ftirnish- 
€d by Rev. Thomas Noyes of Need ham, who married a 
grand daughter of the subject of it, and who has had 
tfie best opportunity of any person, now livinc:, to be- 
<^mt acquainted with facts illustrative of his lite and 
<iharacteK 

He was bom of Reputable parents, in Boxford, county 
of Esi§ex, commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the }'ear 
1698. At the age of two years he was bereaved of his 
father, and the care of his early education devolved on his 
pious mother, who was not inattentive to the importance 
of her charge. The youth was early made sensible, 
Aat religion was the one thing needful. The deep in- 
terest he felt in the cause of the Redeemer led him to 
seek an education, that would best prepare him for fu- 
ture usefulness; and accordingly he entered Harvard 
College in 1717, and was graduated in 1721, in the 
2Sd, year of his agie. ' 

Inamediately after he was graduated, the committee 
of the Board of Commissioners for propagating the Gos- 
]pel in N. E. requested him to be ordained is an evan- 
gielist, and to carry the news of salvation to the hea- 
dien. This was at a tiirie when the French were ac- 






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64 HISTORY OF NATICK, 

tive in stimulating the Indians to commence hostilities 
against the English ; and for this^ purpose furnished them 
with provisions and warlike implements. The conse- 
quent apprehensions of an Indian war led many v-andi- 
dates, it is said not less than eleven, to whom the Com- 
missioners had made application, to decline the offer. 
But such was Mr. Peabody's zeal in the cause of his 
Master, that he did not hesitate to enter on a mission, 
though he was subject to the will of his employe i^s, and 
knew not the place of his destination ; but expected to 
be s6nt to a remote distance into the wilderness.. 

As the commissioners concluded to send him to Na- 
tick, a place surrounded with settled ministers, and in 
the vicinity of the society that emloyed him, they did 
not immediately ordain him ; but sent him to perform 
missionary service, till circumstances should render his 
ordination expedient. On the Gth. day of August, 1 721 , 
he preached here for the first timie. ,At that time 
there were but two white families in the town, thou^b 
several other families afterwards removed thither. John 
Sawin, who lived where his descendents Thomas and 
Baxter Sawin no\v reside, was the first white inhabit- 
ant ; David Morse, who built on the site where the 
house of John Atkins, Esq. now stands, is believed to 
have been the second; Jonathan Carver erected the 
third English house, on the spot, which Isaac Biglow, jr. 
now occupies ; and Ebenezer Felchls supposed to have 
biiilt the fourth in the north part of the town, near E. 
Sudbury line, where some of his descendents still have 
th^ir .place of abode. 

Mr. P. remarks in the beginning of the records of the 
church, forniied under his ministry ; * It must be pb- 
;5etved, that after my most diligent search^ I can find no 
record of any thing referring to the former church in Na- 
tick.' 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 66 

Mr. Peabody preached constantly at Natick, till the 
close of the year 1729, when a committee from the board 
of Commissioners, and from the Corporation of Harvard 
College were sent to Natick to consider the expediency 
of eipbodying a church and settling a minister. The 
result was that it would be best to embody a church, 
partly of English and partly of Indians, and set Mr. P. 
over them in the Lord. The 3d. of December was set 
apart for st day of fasting and prayer, when Mi:. Baxter 
of Medfield preached and embodied a church, consisting 
of three Indians and five white persons. On the 17th. 
of the same month, Mr. P. was ordained at Cambridge, 
a n^idsionary to take the pastoral care of the church and 
people at Natick. . 

About two years after Mr. Peabody came to Natick, 
he married Miss Hannah Baxter, daughter of Rev. Jo- 
seph Baxter of Medfield, a lady distinguished for her 
piety and good sense, by whom he had twelve children, 
iight of whom IJvrd to yeariS of discretion. The oldest 
son bore his father's name, and was ordained pastor over 
the first church in Roxbury, in November, 1750, and 
died in May 1762. The two other sons died, when 
they were about thirty ; but the five daughters all lived 
to a good old age. 

Though it was his grand object to bring the Indians,, 
by divine grace, to the knowledge, service and enjoy- 
ment of God ; yet he found it an object, worthy of great 
attention, to induce them to abandon their savage mode 
of living, and to make advances in husbandry and civil- 
ization; and so great a change was^ effected in their 
pursuits and manners, that he lived to see many of the 
Indian families enjoying comfortable habitations, culti- 
vated fields, and flourishing orchards ; and their manners 
greatly improved. 



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66 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

He embraced the Feligious principles of our puritanic 
fathers, and has left us abundant testimony in bis public 
cations and manuscripts, that he had not so learned 
Christ, as to make the precepts of the Gospel bend to 
suit the vices of men. He was bold and zealous in ibe 
cause of truth ; but, bis zeal was not that of the enthusi- 
ast. It was an ardent desire to promote the glory of 
God, and the best; good of his fellow men. By his ex-- 
ertions many of them were taught to read and write, ag 
well as. to understand the English language* To i^uch 
a pitch of refinertient had some of them arrived, that 
when Mr Moody from Yprk, Maine, preached to them 
in Natick, and used low expressions for the purpose of 
being understood by them ; they observed that if Mr, 
Peabody should preach in such low language, they 
should think him crazy and leave the meeting house. 

The Indians at the time of Mr.- Peabody 's coming to 
reside among them, were much addicted to intemper- 
ance ; and he took great pains to suppress tMs ruinous 
vice, and not without supcess. Guardians were placed 
over them, and they became more peaceable, industrious 
and attentive to religious order. Twenty two perspnis 
were idded to the church, the first year after his ordi^ 
nation, a number of whoai were Indians^ In a letter 
to a convention of ministers in July — 1743, he observes ; 
* Among my little pepple (I would mention it to the glory 
of the rich grace and the blessed spirit of God) there have 
been very apparent strivings and operations of the Holy 
Ghost among Indians and English, young and old, male 
and female. ^ There have been added to our church ci 
such as I hope shall be saved about fifty persons, of dif-* 
ferent nations, since the beginiiing of last March was 
two years, whose lives in general witness to the sinc^-^ 
ity of their profession.' 



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HISTORY OF NATICK, 57 

During hii$ ministry 191 Indians and 422 English 
were baptized. During the same period 35 Indians and 
130 white persons were admitted into his church. 
Two hundred and fifty six Indians died ; one of whom 
arrived at the age of 1 1.0 years. 

Though naturally of a slender and delicate constitu- 
tion, he consented to go on a mission to the Mohegan 
tribe of Indians ; but the fatigues he endured in the un- 
dertaking, so impaired his health, that it was never per- 
fectly restored. He lived several years after ; but at 
length fell into a decline, in which he lingered till Lord's 
day, Feb. 2i, 1752, in the 64th. year of his age. He 
died with Christian triumph, immediately after uttering 
the words of the heroic apostle, ' I have fought a good 
fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; 
henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteous- 
ness, which the Lord, tl^e righteous Judge, shall give 
me at that day.' 

In his last sickness the Indians expressed great anxi- 
ety for his health and happinessj and tendered him 
every service in their power. At his death they mourn- 
ed as for a parent. His widow was afterwards married 
to Deacon Eliot of Boston. She died in 1796, aged 92. 

The following inscription is copied from his grave 
stone. 

Hie depositae Sunt Reliquiae Domitii Revdi : Olvueri 
Peabodyj Uiri propter mentis Facultates et Literaturam 
necessariam maxima Ueneratione digni. Speculationes 
Theologicas optime delegit. Jn officio pastorali con- 
spicue efTulsit. Per Annos triginta Populo apud Natick 
ministrauit praecipiie Aboriginum Eruditionis in Reli- 
gione Christiana Causa. Jn uita Sociali quoque fiut 
exemplar. Beneuolentia Jntegra et Hospitalitate Cath- 
olica Maxime Antecessit. Retributionem Futuram 
8 



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68 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

certissime Expectans Ministerium ReUquit Feb. 2do. 
A. D- 1762,J:tatis 64- 

TRANSLATfON. , 

Here are deposited the remains of the Rev Mr Oliver 
Peahody ; a man worthy of the highest estimation, on 
accouut of his native pov^^ers of mind and useful learn- 
ing. He took great delight in theological speculations. 
He shone conspicuously in the pastoral office. For 
thirty years he ministered to the people at Natick, 
chiejfly for the purpose of instructing the Indians in the 
Christian religion. He was exemplary also in social 
life. He greatly excelled in genuine benevolence and 
liberal hospitality. In sure and certain hope of a fu- 
ture reward, he left the ministry, Feb. 2d, 1752, in the 
64th year of his age. 

The phrase, * he left the ministry,' mjiy lead people 
in general, into an error. They may suppose that he 
left the pastoral office previous to his death. But one 
acquainted with the Latin language need not be in- 
formed, that, when the Romans would intimate that a 
person was dead, they frequently used the words, fait 
he has existed, vixit^ he has lived, e vivis cessit, he has 
retired from the living, or some similar expression, in- 
stead of a more direct and unpleasant mode of commu- 
nicating the disagreeable intelligence. Thus the above 
phrase is a proof of the classical knowledge and taste of 
the writer, who is said to have been Revd Mr Town- 
send of Needham, his contemporary aiid friend, and who 
survived him ten years. 

Two printed sermons of Rev Mr Peabody are extant, 
viz. — 

* An Artillery Election Sermon ,•' and one entitled, 
' The Foundations, Effects, and distinguishing Proper- 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 69 

ties of a good and bad hope of Salvation ; with mo- 
tives to excite all to labour and pray that theij may ob- 
tain a well grounded Hope^ and some directions how 
to obtain it. Considered in a Sermon^ the substance 
of which was delivered at the Evening Lecture at the 
New North Church in Boston^ on Tuesday^ June Sth, 
1742, where a copy of it was desired /or the Press. 
Boston^ printed by D. Fowle, for S. Eliot, in Corn- 
hill, 1742.' 

A few introductory passages from this Sermon will 
exhil^it a fair specimen of the author's style. 

Psalm, cxix, 116. — Let me not be ashamed of my 
hope. 

As hope Bndfear are the two governing passions of the 
soul ; which excite us to action : so it is of concern to 
us, to know how to improve them so as to promote 6ur 
happiness. And as we should improve our fears of the 
wrath of God and eternal torment, so as to quicken us 
to flee from the wrath to come, and to fly to the Refuge 
to lay hold on the hope set before us in Christ Jesus ; 
so we should ^se our hope, with a view to this great 
end. 

It is greatly to be feared, that many have such a 
slender and sandy foundation of their hope^ that when 
they shall expect, that they are just entring into the 
possession and enjoyment of what they hoped for ; 
they shall find themselves mistaken and disappointed : 
which is what the Psalmist deprecates in our Text. 

Although he may, in this, have some reference to his 
hopes of outward good things agreeable to the promise 
of God to him ; yet it appears to me, that he has re- 
spect especially to future and eternal things in this pa- 
thetick prayer ; ^Let me not be ashamed of my hope.^ 
Stephen Badger was bom in Charlestown, A. D. 1726, 



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60 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

of humble parentage, as is indicated in the College 
Catalogue, by his name being placed last in his class, 
at a time when the scholars were arranged according to 
the real or supposed dignity of their parents. He was 
graduated at Harvard College in 1747. On the 27th 
of March, 1753, he was ordained by the Commissioners 
for propagating the Gospel in N. £. as a missionary 

the Indians in Natick. The English inhabitants 

d with the Indians, and added to his salary 19L 6s. 
bout 06^ 44. He closed his public services in Ju- 
799, and died, August 28, 1803, aged 78. 
iring his ministry Mr B. encountered many diflicul- 
A large portion of the white people of his day had 
ted as many of the Indian manners and habits, as 
ndians had of theirs ; so that a considerable numr 
)f both nations were but half civilized, and their 
r experienced such treatment, as must naturally be 
:ted from such a flock. The contentions respect- 
he location of the meeting house have be<».n already 
ioned. These continued through the whole of his 
;try, and rose to such a height, that many families 
sly abandoned public worship in that house, and 
m attended in any other. 

iring all these difficulties, however, several of the 
respectable families were constant attendants on 
ministry, and continued so^ as long as he remain- 
it. . 

stature Mr B. did not exceed the middle height; 
jrson was firm and well formed ; his manners dignifi- 
polished ; and his countenance intelligent and 
ing. His conversation in mixed company was en- 
ning and instructive. His public performances 
ample proof of a mind, vigorous, acute and well 
ned. His sermons were mostly practical, free. 



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.HISTORY OF NATICK. 01 

from the pedantick, technical terms of school divinity, 
written at fqll length, and read without any attempt^ ^t 
oratory. His prayers did not contain so great a variety 
of expressions, as those of many others ; but they were 
pertinent, and clothed chiefly in the language of scrip- 
ture. He observed that " for whatever of correctness, or 
purity of style he was -master of, he was indebted to the 
Spectator of Addison;" and his performances proved 
that he had profited not a little by " giving bis days 
and his nights" to that immortal production. Had he 
'bem' set on a more conspicuous candlestick, his light 
would undoubtedly have shown extensively, briUismtly 
md powerfully. 

Like many of his distii^guished contemporaries in the 
ministry, the names of a few of whom the first president 
Adorns has given in his letter to the Rev Dr Morse, 
be w^ a Unitltrian ; but, like the rest, with the «xcep-r 
tion of Dr Maybew of Boston and Dr Howand his suc- 
cessor, he thought that, though it was lawful/or them to 
avow this seatiTMent, it was not expedient. They bcr 
lieived that, in omitting to mention this opinicgi they kept 
back nothing that would be profitable for their hearers. 
They had read *' Clarke's Scripture Doctriiie of Ae 
Trmity," and believed it to be true ; but they had also 
read* the bitter controversial writings, which were pub- 
lished in consequence of it; and they wished not to 
witness such a contest in this country ; such a one as is 
now unhappily raging in it, to the disgrace of the violesU 
combatants on both sides, if not to the detriment of the 
cause of Christianity itself. 

Mr B's rgeliious sentiments, in general, agreed whh, 
those of Arminius ; but he called no man master on 
earth. He had neither so high an opinion of human na- 
ture, as some have advocated, nor so low a one, as has 



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62 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

been embraced by others. He considered man not ex- 
alted in the scale of being to a rank so elevated, as the 
celestial intelligences, nor degraded to so depraved a 
condition, as infernal spirits ; but maintained that he oc- 
cupies a grade between the two, at a very considerable 
distance from either. He contended that by the right 
use ol the means of grace a person may become fitted 
for the company of the former ; and that by the neglect 
or abuse of these means, he must be qualified only for 
the society of the latter. 

He taught that love to God and man is th^ essence 
of religion ; and that a sober, righteous and godly life is at 
oiice the fruit of this love, and the evidence that it is 
shed abroad in the heart. He considered the second 
commandment, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself^ 
like unto the first, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with 
all thy heartj as being equally essential to present 
and future happiness. No one, he would observe, can 
be profitable unto God by his best devotional services ; 
but he, who is wise, may be profitable to himself and his 
tellow men, by being a worker together with God in the 
promotion of human felicity ; and this working together 
with God is the best proof that we love him. Hence 
he affirmed constantly, that they who have believed in 
God, should be careful to maintain good works. * He 
held with Paul, that by the deeds of the ceremonial law 
no flesh living can be justified ; and with James, that 
faith without the works of the moral law is dead. To 
enkindle and increase the love of piety and virtue in the 
soul was the end and aim of all his prayers, his preach- 
ing and his pra ctice. 

He could discern the wisdom and even goodness of 
Deity in permitting so many denominations to exist in 
the Christian world, difiering in articles of faith and 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 63 

modes of worship, as it gives the hest possible opportu- 
nity for the exercise of- that charity, which the inspired 
apostle declares to be greater than either faith or hope. 
This charity he extended to all, whether they , profes- 
sed to be of Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, provided they 
gave evidence, m their life and conversation, that they 
were of Christ. He was ready always to give a reason 
for tbe hope that was in him ; but, that he might not 
give just cause of offence to others, he did it with meek- 
ness ; and feeling his own liability to error, he did it with 
fear. But while he was thus candid towards others, he 
demanded a return of the like candour from them. 

If ajiy accused him, or any other respectable minis- 
ter of *' leading his flock blindfolded to hell," he consid- 
ered them as usurping the judgment seat of Christ, who 
is appointed sole judge of the quick and the dead, as 
guilty of judging another man's servant, and of judging 
before the time ; and he shuddered at their impious te- 
merity. In short he exercised more charity towards 
every thing else, than towards unch^iritableness. 

Like Paul before Felix, he reasoned of the personal, 
social, and religious duties ; esteeming it as absurd to 
preach to rational beings, and yet deny them the use of 
their reason, as it would be to preach to those animals, 
which are created without this distinguishing gift. He 
never adopted the maxim, " credo quia impossibile est,^^ 
1 believe it because it is impossible ; but he embraced 
Christianity because he considered it a reasonable sys- 
tem ; and he allowed that, if it were not so, we should 
have no reasoijk to believe in it. He did not degrade 
this godlike endowment by calling it carnal reason, as 
thoi^e are apt to do, who wish to establish an unreason- 
able doctrine ; but insisted that the inspiration of the 
Almighty hath given us understanding, and that every 



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64 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

one is accountable to the Gi^er for the use, or abuse 
of it. 

If any told him that they knew positively by their 
Jeelings^ that they had the Holy Spirit witnessing with 
their spirit, that their system of belief was certainly 
the right and true one, and his as certainly false and dan- 
gerous ; he would reply, that our feelings, when uncon- 
troled by reason and common sense, are extremely lia- 
ble to lead us into error and spiritual pride. Though he 
felt it to be his duty to oppose what he deemed to be 
errors in opinion ; yet he considered it to be of vastly 
higher importance to correct deviations in practice; 
as he thought the former would much more readily be 
forgiven by our final Judge, than the latter, 

Mr B, has been accused of having been of an irritable 
temper. If this were true, it must be acknowl(»dged, 
that such were the tr'als, which awaited him, he must 
have possessed more of the Christian, or the Stoic, than 
generally falls to the lot of man, to have been other-r 
wise. 

It has been said by his opposers, that he was a Uni- 
versalist. On this point he shall speak for himself; for, 
though dead, he yet speaketh, in his * Discourses on 
Drunkenness,' from which the following passage is ex- 
tracted. 

* Both reason and the word of God lead us to fear, if 
hot conclude, (if we can come to any conclusion at all 
about him,) that the case of the habitual drunkard is 
hopeless, and his end inevitable misery and destruction. 
And his being more exposed to be overtaken and cut off 
by the hand of death in a drunken fit, should alarm and 
put hittv upon the most serious consideration of the emi- 
nent ddnger he is in, when he is overchai^ed with in- 
toxicating liqu(»r, and what account he will b^ aWe to 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 66 

give of himself, when summoned before the judgment 
seat of Christ, by whom God will sentence him and the 
rest of mankind to eternal happiness, or misery, accord- 
ing to the state, in which they are foimd at the great 
day of his appearing.' 

While Mr Badger urged the importance of good 
works, he did not teach his people to depend on them 
alone for salvation ; but insisted that by works faith 
was made perfect, and that man must be saved by grace 
through such a faith. This appeared particularly in his 
prayers. He generally concluded the afternoon service 
by repeating the Lord's Prayer, having prefaced it in 
some such manner as the following — 

* Wilt thou enable us by thy grace to avoid every 
known sin, to live in the habitual practice of every 
known duty ; and, when we have done all, may we 
consider ourselves as unprofitable servants, and place 
our hopes of salvation on thy mercy, declared unto man- 
kind in Christ Jesus our Lord; who died, that we 
might live ; who rose from the dead for our justifica- 
tion ; who hath ascendeds to his Father and our Father, 
to his God and our God, where he ever liveth to make 
intercession for us ; and, in whose perfect form of words, 
we conclude our publick addresses at this 

time— "Our Father, &c.'' 

It was said of him, as of the great Addison, 

by one, who was constantly with hie ist sick- 

ness, and at the time of his departure, that ' he died like 
a Christian philosopher.' 

Had Mr B. lived in this age of * Self-created Socie- 
ties,' it is easy ibr those, who knew him, to conjecture 
which of them would have met his most cordial appro- 
bation. 

Temperance Societies he would have pronounced ai 
9 



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66 HISTORY OF NATICK, 

saitable foundation for all the rest, which have utility 
for their object, as life, health and the power of doing 
good, in a great degree, depend on the practice of this 
virtue. He would, however, not have them entirely 
confined to the abolition of the use of ardent spirits ; but 
extended to the immoderate use of wine, and every oth- 
er liquor, capable of producing intoxication. Evien 
strong tea and coffee he denominated strong drink, and 
deemed them equally pernicious to the nervous system 
of their votaries, and the reputation of absent acquaint- 
ances. He furthermore agreed in opinion A^ith a cele^ 
brated physician, that * more dig their graves with their 
teeth, than with their tankard,' in other words, more 
are destroyed by gluttony, than drunkenness. Hence 
he would have called that man a sorry president of a 
Temperance Society, who, while he denied his work- 
men a pittance of ardent spirits to mix with their water, 
himself fared sumptuously every day, devouring large 
quantities of high seasoned food, and allaying, or rather 
increasing his thirst w ith a bottle of Champaigne, or 
Madeira, or both. In short he taught his people, by 
precept And example, to be temperate in all things. 

Bible Societies for the disseminating of the Holy 
Scriptures in all languages, without note or comment, 
would have met his most cordial cooperation ; for these 
he ever insisted on, as alone sufficient, for every one, 
who could peruse them, to enable him- to gain all re- 
ligious information, necessary for present and future hap- 
piness. 

Gamaliel Societies he would probably have proposed, 
for the suppression of religious, or rather irreligious, 
controversy ; recommending for a motto to the various 
Christian denominations the following passage, to be 
observed by each sect toWSurd all the rest— * Refrain 



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HISTORY OF NATICK, Bl 

from these men and let them alone, for if this comi^el 
or this work be of men, it will come to nought; but, if 
it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it ; lest haply ye be 
found even to fight against God.' This he would have 
done from a. full persuasion, that nothing tei^ed so 
powerfully to impede the -progress of Ghristianitf smd 
promote the cause of infidelity, as the bitter dissensioas 
Hmong Christians about articles of faith and modes of 
Worship ; about the mere theory of religion, while the 
practice was sadly neglected. 

Peace Societies he would have regarded as of prinie 
im{)ortance ; for he could not conceive of a more wretch- 
ed comment on that religion, which proclaims ^ peace 
on earth and good will to men,' than for its professors 
to be frequently embroiled in bloody wars, not only with 
iiifidel: nations, but with each other, and often on most 
trivial pretences. 

Societies for the prevention and abolition of Slavery 
Wduld have met his most hearty approbation and sup- 
port ; for he was a strenuous advocate for freedom of 
mind and body, both in church and state. 

Societies for promoting morality and piety among 
seamen he would have considered as of incalculable im- 
portance, to give unchristianrzed nations a favourable 
opinion of our holy religion, when they should see our 
mariners, who visited them, obeying the divine precepts 
of the Gospel, in all their trasactions. 

He would have said that all these societies must 
h&te a general and powerful influence on the charactier 
of Ciristians, before very exalted hopes of success could 
justly be entertained, from the exertions of Societies for 
the promotion of foreign Missions. , 

Societies for the improvement of agriculture he would 
have delighted to encourage; for, on his own little farm, 
he set an example of neatness and good husbandry, 



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68 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

which was imitated by few of his parishioners, and 
equalled by none. In fine, every society, which ad(^t- 
ed judicious measures for the encouragement of the use- 
ful arts and sciences, and for the promotion of pure mo- 
rality and real piety, would have been accompanied by 
his fervent prayers and strenuous exertions for their 
success. 

Mr Badger was twice married. His first wife was 
Miss Abigail Hill of Cambridge, who presented him 
with seven children. Five of these died in early life. 
One of the others was the first consort of the Revd Mr 
Greenough of Newton. The other is the widow of the 
late Capt Micah Jackson of the same place. His sec- 
ond wife was the widow Sarah Gould of Boston, who 
survived him about twenty years. 

Mr B. never caused any monuments to be erected to 
the memory of his departed relatives. After his de- 
cease, his grave and those of his family were inclosed 
with a picket fence, and a stone was placed at one end^ 
bearing the following inscription. 

Deposited in this enclosure 
are the remains of 
Revd. Stephen Badger. 
He was chosen by the Commissioners for pr(^agating 
the Gospel in N. England, & ordained as a missionary 
over the Indians in Natick March 27, 1763 ; died Au- 
gust 28, 1803: M. 78. Mrs. Abigail Badger, his con- 
sort died August 13, 1782 : M. 67 — and five children — 
also Mr. Stephen Badger Senior — died June 19, 1774: 
M. 80. As a tribute of affectionate respect this stone 
is here placed. "While memory fond each virtue shall 
revere." 

All the publications of Mr Badger, that are known 
to the writer, are the following — 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 69 

Several Essays on Electricity, j)rinted in the Colum- 
bian Centinel, soon after the establishment of this paper 
in Boston. In these he offers the conjecture, that by 
drawing th§ electric fluid from the clouds by rods, the 
necessary quantity of rain may be prevented from fall- 
ing. — ^A Letter from a Pastor to his people, opposing 
the requiring of a confession of particular transgressions, 
in order for admission to church fellowship. Not hav- 
ing this pamphlet at hand, I cannot give its title accu- 
rately. Both these publications are anonymous. — Let- 
ter to the Secretary of the Massachusetts Historical So- 
ciety, partly republished in this cpmpilation.-^Two Dis- 
courses on Drunkenness, printed in 1774, and recently 
reprinted by the Society for the Suppression of Vice 
and Intemperance. 

Freefnan Sears wks the first minister ordained in the 
central meeting house. For the following notice of him I 
am indebted to Rev. Stephen Palmer's Occasional Ser- 
mon, delivered in Needham, March 22, 1812.—- "He 
was bora at Harwich, in the county of Barnstable, Nov 
28, 1779. At the age of 17, he moved with his parents 
to Ashfield, in the county of Hampshire. About this 
time his mind became seriously impressed by a sense of 
his danger, while destitute of an interest in Christ ; and 
in the course of this year, was enabled to taste and see 
that the Lord is gracious. In the winter of the follow- 
ing year, he taught a school in Ashfield ; and such were 
the serious impressions upon his mind, that his youthfiil 
diffidence did not prevent him from praying morning and 
evening in his school. At the age of 19 he was called 
to part with an elder brother. Under this affecting be- 
reavement he was calm and composed, and prayed with 
his brother in his last moments. In the year 1800, a 
little before he was 21 years of age, he entered Wil- 



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70 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

liam's College, and was graduated there in 1804. 
April 10, 1805, he was approbated to preach ; and Jan. 
1, 1806, he was ordained pastor of the church and soci- 
ety in Natick.'' 

"Though he had a weak and slender constitutiojn ; 
yet he was enabled in general to perform the duties of 
his pastoral office, till the latter part of the year 1810, 
when his health became essentially impaired. His com^ 
plaints were consumptive and began to assame an 
alarming aspect." 

'4n this critical situation, his physicians advised him 
to go to a warmer climate, as the only probable means 
of recovery. Accordingly in the month of December, 
he sailed for Savannah in Georgia, where he arrived and 
spent the following winter. During his absence from 
his family he found many kind and generous friends, 
who administered to his necessities. He was a stranger 
and they took him in ; he was sick and they visited him. 
These acts of kindness made a grateful impression cm 
his mind." 

" But though these kind attentions were soothing to 
his feelings ; yet his health was not restored, but seem- 
ed to decline. Still, however he indulgdd the hope, 
that he should be able to return to his faftiily and 
friends, whom he wished again to see. Accordingly 
about thfi first of April, he left Savannah, with a view 
of revisiting ^ bis distant home, and concluded to return 
by land. He was weak and debilitated, and the j<Hir- 
ney was long and fatiguing. But through divine good- 
ness, he was enabled to accomplish his object, and an 
the 2nd of June he arrived at Natick. He was now in 
a very low and reduced state^ From his extreme la- 
bility and emaciated appearance, it was mattei: of sur- 
prise to his friends, that he should be able to comfdete 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 71 

his journey. After his return, he continued gradually 
to languish till the 30th of June, when he expired. On 
the 3d of July his remains were respectfully interred at 
Natick, at which time a sermon adapted to the occasion^ 
was delivered by the Rev. Mr. Bates of Dedham." 

" He died in the 33d year of his age, and 6th of his- 
ministry. This was not only an affecting loss to his 
family and people, but to the public. His talents were 
respectable ; his^ elocution was pleasing ; and from early 
life^ he was exemplary and distinguished for his piety. 
He was, however, permitted to remain but a little 
while in the vineyard of Christ, before he was called, in 
the judgement of charity, to receive the reward, not of 
a Ipng but of a faithful service. From the bright pros- 
pect, which he had of entering, at so early an hour, into 
the joy of his Lord, the language of his departure seem- 
ed to be — Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, 
but weep for yourselves and for your children. Not 
only for ourselves and children, but for the interest of 
Zion we then had and still have occasion to weep. He 
was dear to me; and in a feeling manner, I am still 
constrained to say — Alas, my brother!" 

From the acquaintance, which the compiler had with 
Mr Sears, he judged him ^o be a Calvinist of the Dod- 
dridge school ; blest, by the Author of every good gift, 
with too much good sense to be an enthusiast, and too 
much good nature to be a bigot. 

Th^ following letter is believed to be the only pro-, 
duction of his pen which survives him, and is here pre- 
served, as a pleasing proof of the soundness of his un- 
derstanding and the goodness of his heart. 

Savmnahy Janury 25, 1811. 
Mt dear people, over whom I am placed in the Lord! 
Dearly beloved in Christ Jesus ! Though absent, and 



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72 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

feeble in body, I have not forgotten you. My health 
was such, when I left you, that I was unable to give 
you such directious and counsel, as becam^ a faithful 
minister, on separating from his people for a season* 
My health is no better, but rather worse. In the after- 
noon, I have a high fever ; cough very muehin the eve- 
ning ; have cold sweats at night and sleep very little* 
To day my physician talks more discouraging, and I 
heard that he tolld other people that I could not contin- 
ue six months. 

At first, my feelings almost overwhelmed me, and rose 
superior to my better judgment. But I am in the 
hands of G<)d, who can and will protract the brittle 
thread of life, so long as it will be for his glory, and the 
best good of his kingdom, which ought ever to be the 
summit of my wishes. 

With this thought fixed in my breast, however natu- 
ral feelings operate, I am stiU! I am not without hope, 
that I shall return to you again, in the land of the liv- 
ing. But all this I leave With Him, who never does wrong. 

It is for the benefit of my dear people, that I now 
write ; and I wish you to receive it as a pledge of love. 
I do not say it is my last advice.* I may yet preach to 
you for years ; but it is such advice and counsel as my 
conscience would approve on a dying bed, for I fe^ 
something at present, like a dying man. 

On a critical atid prayerful review of my ministerial 
labours among you, I find myself in many respects defi- 
cient; not that I regret the plainness of my preaching, nor 
the doctrines that I so frequently inculcated ; these to- 
gether with the threatenings denounced against the un- 
godly, and the comforting of saints, afford me pleasure to 
reflect upon. I do not think of any doctrine, that I have 
advanced among you, that I am not willing to seal with 
my death. I must therefore solemnly exhort you to 
continue unshaken in all the great and glorious doc- 
trines of grace. 

But this is not all, there mlist be a principle of in- 

* It was, however, the last public communication that he made to his people, 
and they should receive it as die words oi a dying Qian. 



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HISTORY OF NAtlCK. 73 

s 

dwelling religion, Vhich, like a never failing spring, al- 
ways refreshes the thirsty traveller. That religion, 
which has not its seat in the heart, is of very little 
avail. Christians! I call upon you to know how you 
stand. I doubt not your tenderness towards me, and 
that your prayers have often ascended to heaven on my 
behalf. You feel your lonely situation, that you are 
like sheep without a shepherd. But have you not rea^ 
son to fear, the angel of the churches hath somewhat 
to write against thee? Either that *you have left your 
first love,' or are indifferent to things which demand 
your first attention ? As in life, so in death, I nrast de- 
clare to you, that the condition of the hypocrite, is of all 
01 hers the most desperate and alarming. To have on- 
ly a name to live, whilst in reality we are dead, is de- 
plorable in the extreme. 

But if ye are Christ's in reality, as I fully believe isome 
of you are. He will provide for you. Like the primi- 
tive disciples of our Lord, meet often together ; spread 
your wants aud your sorrows before God ; trust in his 
promises ; heartily believe what Christ told his disci- 
pFes, that he would not leave them comfortless. And 
though your pastor be absent, you may draw comfort 
from the never failing fountain, Christ Jesus ! 

Sinners ! What shall I say to you ! Gladly would I 
weep over you as JesuS did over Jerusalem, if that 
would touch your hearts. I know not alL the feelings 
of the wicked towards me, but I think I know my own 
towards you. Although I have borne pointed testimo- 
ny against some of your conduct, my conscience bears 
me witness that I love your souls. 

Think for a moment on your condition; Enemies of 
God by wicked works — exposed to his wrath-^our feet 
on slippery places — and hell beneath' ready to receive 
you. What if your feet should slide ! I tremble for you, 
and once more, not from the desk and face to face, but 
from a distance, and with a trembling hand, I most af- 
fectionately warn you to flee from the wrath to come. 
Make no delay. Tarry not in all these plains. Es- 
cape it is for your life ! 
10 



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74 HISTORY OF NATICK, 

Finally, brethren and friends, farewell May tbe 
God of all grace bring you to bis kingdom, in the end, 
where, if not on the earth, I hope to meet you. 

Yours, &c. 

FREEMAN SEARS. 

The following is a copy of the inscription on bis 
grave stone. 

SACRED 

To the Memory of Rev. Freeman Sears, Pastor of 
the Church in Natick ; Who died, June 30 A. D. 1811 : 
In the 33d. year of his age and 6th of his Ministry. 

His bereaved Flock 
From sentiments of gratitude and respect, conse- 
crate this stone to his memory. 

To us, his flock, his death doth speak, 
Be wise in lime ; your Saviour seek ; 
He loves his own j he makes them blest ; 
They die in peace ; in heaven they rest. 

Martin Moore is the immediate successor of Mr Sears 
ifi the ministry. He was born in Sterling, in tbe coun- 
ty of Worcester, A. D. 1790, and graduated at Brown 
University^ A. D. 1810. The call of the church, invi- 
ting him to settle as their pastor, bears date, Nov. 18, 
1813. The concurring call of the congregation was 
given, Dec. 6th. An affirmitive answf^r was communi- 
cated, Jan. 2d, 1814, His ordination took place the 
16th of February following. The order of exercises on 
this occasion was asjbllows. — Introductory Prayer by 
Rev Dr Kellog of Framingham.— Sermon, Rev Mr 
Fisk pf Wrentham — Consecrating Prayer, Rev Mr 
Holcomb, Sterling-r-Charge, Rev Dr Prentiss, Me^- 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 76 

field — Right Hand, Rev Mr Noyes, Needham — Conclu- 
ding Prayer, Rev Mr Palmer, Needham. 

It is sincerely hoped, that many years will elapse, be- 
fore the removal of this useful servant "of the Lord to 
that bourne, which his predecessors have sought, shall 
render it proper for a biographer to publish a history of 
his life, or a sketch of his character. 

Since the settlement of the Rev Mr Moore there has 
been a happy revival of religion in this place. By a 
revival is meant, that some, who were idle, have be- 
come industrious ; some, who were intemperate, have 
become sober ; some who were dishonest, are now just 
in their dealings with their neighbors ; some, once 
openly profane, now reverence the name, word and 
worship of God ; while those, who, in the judgment of 
charity, were sober, righteous and godly persons before, 
have persevered with increasing diligence and devotion. 
This has been effected with much less pf enthusiasm^ 
bigotry and uncharitableness, than too frequently ac- 
companies what are called revivals. The power of God 
has not been visible in a rushing mighty wind, in an 
earthquake, or in fire; but in the still small voice of 
strict morality and sober piety. That such revivals 
may take place among people of all demominations,must 
be thQ devout wish and prayer of every virtuous and 
pious soul. 

James W. Thompson^ pastor of the South Congrega- 
tional Church and Society, was born in Barre, in the 
county of Worcester, A. D. 1805, and graduated at 
Brown University, A. D. 1827. He was invited by 
a unanimous vote of the society to become jheir pastor, 
Deer. 31, 1829. His answer, accepting the invita- 
tion, is dated Jan. 15, 1830. He was ojrdained, Feb. 
17, 1830. The following is the order of exercises.— 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 76 

Introductory Prayer, Rev. Mr Sanger, of Dover. — 
Reading of the Scriptures, Rev. Mr Sibley Stow. — 
Sermon, Revd Mr Young, Boston — Ordaining Prayer, 
Rev. Dr Lowell, Boston — Charge, Revd. Mr Thomp- 
son, Barre — Right Hand, Revd. Mr Hamilton, Taun- 
ton — Address to the Society, Revd. Mr Briggs, Lex- 
ington. The exercises, excepting the prayers ; are 
published. Though the ministers and people of the 
two parishes differ in their religious opinions; it is ho- 
ped that there will be no other strife between them, 
than an emulation to excel in leading a sober, righteous 
and godly life, and no other provocation, than a provoking 
of one another to love and good works. 

For a number of years past, there have been a few 
inhabitants of this town of the Methodist persuasion, 
of reputable characters, who usually attend public wor- 
ship in the north part of Needham. The Rev. Isaac 
Je unison is the travelling preacher of the Needham cir- 
cuit, and has his place of residence in Natick. 

But little information can be collected, respecting the 
former churches in this town. How many members 
composed Eliot's at its organization is not known. In 
1670 there were between 40 and 60 communicants. 
In the time of Takawombpait, A. D. 1698 the number 
was reduced to 7 males and 3 females, and at his death, 
A. D. 1716, was broken up. Another church was 
formed at the ordination of Mr. Peabody A. D. 1729. 
During his ministry 130 English and 36 Indians were 
admitted to foil communion. At his death, A. D. 1752, 
this church was disembodied. A new one was formed 
at the time of Mr. Badger's ordination, A. D. 1753, 
and 69 were admitted to the Christian profession, dur- 
ing his ministry. This was dissolved, when Mr. Bad- 
ger retired from his pastoral labours. Another was em- 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 77 

bodied previous to the settlement of Mr. Sears, consist- 
ing of 23 members. Mr. Sears received 14 into the 
cl^urch. At the time of Mr. Moore's ordination the 
church consisted of .26. Received since his ordination 
up to January 1830, 122. Dismissed to other churches 
7. Excommunicated 4. Number, Jan. 1st. 1830, 117. 
A church was embodied in the south parish, March II, 
1830, consisting of 16 members. The Lord's supper 
was administered for the first time in the South meet- 
inghouse, on the 28th. of the same month, to 22 com- 
municants. 

As to baptisms, marriages and deaths, it is impossible 
to procure any thing like an accurate list of either. 

Extracts 

From a letter written by Rev Mr Badger to the 
Corresponding Secretary of the Massachusetts Histori- 
cal Society, dated February, 1797 ; and published in 
their fifth volume. 

'The Indians have been urged to an almost total 
change of their customs and manners, to substitute 
others in their stead, some of which are directly oppo- 
site to their ancient usages ; to put a greater force upon 
nature, than they could easily and at once give into ; to 
oppose and give up what they had always before been 
habituated to, and had a veneration for ; and even to 
set aside those superstitious rites, in the zealous perform- 
ance of which, what religion they had, exclusive of the 
religion or law of nature, very much consisted, and of 
which they were not a little fond and tenacious. These 
things, so far as they embraced and conformed to them, 
have had a corresponding tendency and effect, and have 
been not a little unfavorable to their health and consti- 
totiony and of course had a tendency to shorten their 



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78 HISTORY OP NATICK. \ 

lives, Where the principles of the gospel, the habits of 
industry and a regular mode of life have had to counter- 
act and combat principles and habits of indolence and 
laziness, roughness and ferocity of manners, and an ir- 
regular and improvident disposition and practice, the 
struggle, which has been occasioned by them, must have 
been very great, and consequently not a little unfavors^- 
ble, especially at first, to natural constitution, to health 
and long life. 

The Indians are generally considered by white people 
and placed, as if by common consent, in an inferior and 
degraded situation and treated accordingly. This sinks 
and cramps their spirits, and prevents those manly exer- 
tions, which an equal rank with others has a tendency 
to call forth. If they have landed property, and are in- 
termixed with white people ; or if these last settle near 
their borders, they incourage their Indian neighbours in 
idleness, intemperance and needless expenses, to involve 
them in debt, and prepare the way for the sale and pur- 
chase of their lands, at a very low rate, by which they 
Jliave been impoverished and disheartened. Near a 
Ibundred years ago they were the exclusive proprietors 
<of this plantation, which I suppose contained eight or 
nine thousand acres ; but at this time the remnant of 
them lare not owners of so many hundreds. At the be- 
ginning of the presient century they v^ere embodied into 
a military corps, were invested with military titles, made 
choice of town oifficers, and had the countenance and 
support of the chief magistrate and other persons of dii^ 
tinction. They then held up their heads, considered 
themselves of some importance and were stimulated to 
continue in the profession of the Christian religion, and 
to conform to the manners of their English neighbow^ ; 
b«t their exam{Aes of kregularities and excess (it ii» la 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 79 

be apprehended) had too great and predominant effect 
upon them. This, with that strange propensity in their 
constitutions to excess, brought them into disrepute } 
their military parades were followed by drinking 
frolicks and at length discontinued ; the English were 
gaining settlements among them, joined with them 
in the administration of their prudential affairs; and at 
one of their meetings made choice of one of their num- 
ber j in conjunction with one of the English settlers to 
read the psalm in public. Some English from neigh- 
bouring towns, who through indolence and excess had 
neglected the cultivation of their own farms, were ne- 
cessitated to sell, purchased small tracts of the Indians, 
became settlers and by degrees obtained possession of 
more. The Indians were dispirited, adopted vicious 
manners, of which they had too many examples; be- 
eame more indolent and remiss in improving their lands ; 
lost their credit ; their civil and military privileges were 
gradually lessened, and finally transferred exclusively to 
I he English, who were become more numerous, and 
scome of whom took every advantage to dishearten and 
depress' them. Under these circumstances^ those habits 
which have a direct tendency to beget and promote bad 
morals, to injure health and shorten life, were fully in-' 
dulged and answerable effects followed. 

Indians are strangely addicted to wander from place 
to place, sometimes for a, long time and to a great dis- 
tance from their place of abode, without any thing on 
band for support, and depending on the charity and com- 
pai^sion of others for sustenance ; and this sometimes in 
the most unfavorable seasons of the year. These jour-r 
nies they perform leizurely, sometimes with infant and 
othA children, taking shelter in barns, or other uncom- 
fortable buiMii^s, or sleeping on the ground, in the c^jb 



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80 HISTORY OF NATiCK. 

air, without sufficient covering. In this vagrant state, 
they seldom have regular meals, and less frequently any 
that have been recently prepared for the families, into 
whose houses they seem to think they have a right to 
enter, as their forefathers were the original proprietors 
of the soil. Their clothing is generally poor, such as 
they beg by the way ; a cup of cider, or something worse 
is frequently handed to them to get rid of them more 
easily, than to give them a meal of victuals ; and this is 
done so often, as they pass from house to house, that 
they frequently become over-charged, which I have 
scarce ever known to be the case, when they have been 
at home. This practice, especially as it respects the fe- 
males, exposes their virtue and their health, and that of 
their children, and lays a foundation for consumption, 
which has generally been the means of their death. 
To these causes may be added, their males engaging in, 
military service, to which they have been very easily 
enticed. 

During several of the first years of my ministry, I 
joined in marriage and baptized more Indians than En- 
glish ; but in the wars, that took place between 1764 
and 1760, many engaged in the service; not a small 
number died in it ; others brought home with them a con- 
tagious sickness, which spreajd very fast, and carried off 
some whole families. This was in 1769. In about 
three months, more than twenty of them died of this 
disorder, a putrid fever, which carried them off in a few 
days. But two who had the disorder recovered, and 
they were young women. Though their English neigh- 
bors were not backward in assisting them, but one re- 
ceived the infection, and to him it proved mortal. There , 
was a time of great sickness and mortality, in this and 
several neighbouring towns, a few y^ars before, when 



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HISTORY OF NATICK. 81 

but one Indian inhabitant sickened and died. These 
facts seem to prove that there is a dissimilarity between 
the natural constitutions of the English and Indians. 
In what that difference consists it may be difficult to de- 
cide. 

The general disposition and manners of Indians are 
so distinguishingly characteristic, that a very worthy In- 
dian, of good understanding, who was a deacon of the 
church in this place (deacon Ephraim) and an ornament 
to the Christian society for many years ; and who, from 
the first of his making a Christian profession to the end 
of his life, was an example of seriousness and temper- 
ance, of a regular conversation, and a constant, grave 
and devout attendant on the public institutions of reli- 
gion ; upon being asked how it was to be accounted for, 
that those Indians, when youths, who were put into 
English families, chiefly in other towns, for education ; 
who had free access to such liquoi:s as are the produce 
of the country, and intoxicating when taken to excess ; 
but who refrained therefrom, and were regular and 
steady in their attention to business ; yet soon after they 
had the command of themselves and of their time, and 
had associated with those who were of the same com- 
plexion, become Indians in the reproachful sense of the 
word ; werfe idle, indolent and intemperate, and became 
habituated to all the excesses of those, who had not been 
favoured with such advantages ; made this laconic reply; 
Ducks will be ducks notivithstanding they are hatched by 
the hen — in his own broken English, " Tucks will be 
tucks for all ole hen he hatchum.^^ And I have thought 
that by the peculiarity of their natural constitution, they 
are addicted to and actually contract such habits of in- 
dolence and excess, as they cannot without the greatest 
efforts, which they seem not much disposed to make, 
11 



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82 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

give Up, if th^y ever entirely get rid of them. They 
seem to be like some plants that thrive best in the 
shade ; if the overgrowth is cut off, they wither and de- 
cay, and by degrees ate finally rooted out. 

The unhappy disagreement and contention between 
the English inhabitants about the placing of the meet- 
ing house, which began in the latter part of my prede- 
cessor's time, has at times been renewed ever since, 
and now rages with violence among them, has had a 
tendency to impede the success of the Gospel among 
the Indians in this place. The disaffected to its present 
situation have endeavoured to warp their mind, not 
only respecting the meeting house, but to alienate it 
from those, who have been employed as missionaries, 
and to discourage their attendance on public worship, 
which was supported on their account, by some charita- 
ble funds in England before, and part of the time since 
the revolution ; remittances from which have ceased for 
several years. Out of these there were yearly- doi;ia- 
tions of blankets and books, which had a tendency to 
, keep them together ; but by the circumstances of the 
times in which we live, but few of the remnant of them 
attend public worship, and none are remarkable for the 
genuine influence of the principles and prospects of 
that religion, which is from above, any more than their 
English neighbours. The number of church members , 
is now reduced to two or three. I suppose that there 
are now about twenty clear blooded that belong here ; 
but they are frequently shifting their place of residence. 
Immediately previous to my settling in this place a 
church was gathered, which consisted partly of English 
and partly of Indians; and though some additions were 
soon after inade of Indian professors, yet from the cau- 
ses already mentionsd, a decrease gradually took place 



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HISTORY OP NATICK. . 83 

and has continued to the present time. Their case, 
with the circumstances attending their situation, is tru- 
ly deplorable, and, contrasted with our own, is adapted 
in a high degree, to excite gratitude tq heaven for the 
unaccountable and unmerited distinction. 

Reminiscences. 

Fifty years ago there were about thirty Indians, 
who resided constantly, or most of the time, in 
Natick. John Ephraim wa^ the grandson of the 
Deacon of that name, and inherited the farm of his 
grandfather ; but very few, if any, of his virtues. He 
had a wife, who sustained a good character, and five 
children ; but they suffered severely by his misconduct. 
His farm was neglected, and he sold it a few years be- 
fore his death. His wife died before him ; and it was 
believed that his ill treatment hastened her decease. 
His eldest son, Benjamin, was respectable in regard 
both to morals and religion. ^He was a servant in the 
family of the late Colonel Humphreys, when he resided 
in Boston, and a meinber of Dr Stillman's church. He 
died at the age of about 30 years. His eldest daugh- 
ter, who died at Medfield, bore a good reputation and 
was a menjber of the Baptist church in that town. His 
other three children died in childhood. 

Sarah and Deborah Comecho were widows, at the 
time above mentioned, were daughters of Deacon 
Ephraim, and owned. each a small house and a few acres 
of land. One of them was a member of Mr Badger's 
Church, and the habits and manners of both were cor- 
rect. Hannah Thomas was also a widow of good char- 
acter, and owned a house, barn, and about thirty acres of 
excellent land. Hannah Dexter was known to many 
now living, as * a doctressj well skilled in administering 
medinical roots and herbs.' She came to a tragical end. 



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84 BISTORT OF NA1*ICK. 

a few years since, while endeayouring to quell a riot in 
her house, which was raised by a set of unwelcome vis- 
itants, chiefly of a mixed breed of English, Indian and 
African blood. Her grandson, Solomon Dexter, is now 
the only full blooded survivor of the tribe, unless we 
reckon a small number, who reside in or near Mendon, 
in the County of Worcester, who occasionally visit this 
place, as the land of their ancestors. With the excep- 
tion of the few individuals above mentioned, those, 
whom the writer remembers, generally united in their 
characters many of the vices both of the savage and 
civilized state. 

Such has been the fate of the tribe of Aborigines, 
which was first civilized and Christianized in North 
America, by protestant missionaries ; and simUar the 
faite of most, if not all the tribes in New England. 
Whether a better destiny awaits the Red Men of the 
south and west, is known only to Him, who created 
them. The prayer of every Christian of every philan- 
thropist must be. Lord, have mercy on them, and pro- 
tect them from their adversaries — Lord, have mercy oa 
their persecutors, and touch their hearts with feelings 
of humanity, of pity and of justice. 

Anecdotes. 

The following anecdotes are published on the author- 
ity of tradition. 

While Eliot was engaged in translating the Bible into 
the Indian language, he came to the following passage 
in Judges V. 28. " The mother of Sisera looked out 
at. the window and cried through the lattice^^^ &c. Not 
knowing an Indian word to signify lattice, he applied to 
several of the natives, and endeavored to describe to 
tbem what a lattice resembled. He described it as 



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HISTORY OP NATICK. 86 

frame work, netting, wicker, or whatever occurred to 
him, as illustrative; when they gave him along, barba- 
rous and unpronounceable word, as are most of the 
words in their language* Some years after, when he 
had learned their dialect more correctly, he is said to 
have laughed outright, upon finding that the Indians 
had given him the true term for eelpot " The mother 
of Sisera looked out at the window and cried through 
the eelpot.^^ 

One of these sons of the forest is said to have discov- 
ered a more appropriate emblem of the Trinity^ than 
even the triangle itself. The missionary had been lec- 
turing on this sublime and incomprehensible mystery ; 
wh^n one of his red auditors, after a long and tbought- 
lul pause, thus addressed him. " I believe, Mr minis- 
ter, 1 understand you. The Trinity is just like water 
and ^ce and snow. The water is one, the ice. is amoth^ 
er and the snow is another, and yet they are all three 
water." 

The foUowing'is handed dowia as a true copy of a war* 
rant, issued by an Indian magistrate. — " You, you big 
constable, quick you catchum Jeremiah Offscow, strong 
you holdum, safe you bringum afore me. 

Thomas Waban, Justice peace. 

When Waban became superannuated, a . younger 
magistrate was appointed to succeed iiim. Cherishing 
that respect for age and long experience, for which the 
Indians are remarkable, the new officer waited on the 
old one for advice. Having stated a variety of cases 
and received satisfactory answers, he at length proposed 
the following : — " when Indians get drunk and quarrel 
and fight and act like Diwil, what yoif do dan ?"— 
^^ Hah ! tie um all up, and whip um plaintijQT, whip urn 
fendant and whip um witness." — Quere. Can a more 



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L 



86 HISTORY OF NATICK. 

V 

equitable rule be adopted, on a like occasion, by any 
nation ? 

In the course of Mr Peabody's ministry, there was a 
long and severe drought, which induced him to offer 
public prayers for rain. Among others, he used the 
following petition. " May the bottles of heaven be un- 
stopped and a plentiful supply of rain be poured down on 
the thirsty earth." It very , soon began to rain, and so 
continued for many days in succession. Before it ceas- 
ed, an Indian met Mr P. and observed, ** I believe them 
are bottles, you talk about, be unstopped, and the i^top- 
ples be lost." 

Another Indian, or the same, went to Boston in the 
Fall of the year, with a back load of brooms and bas- 
kets ; and, as his custom was, called into a store, pur- 
chased a dram of the ardent, paid the price of it and 
departed. The next spring he made a similar journey, 
and called at the same store for the same purpose ; but 
the store keeper charged double price for the same 
quantity of liquor. This led the Indian to inquire the 
reason. The dealer in poison answered, that he had 
kept the cask over winter, and it was as expensive as to 
keep a horse. — " Hah," says Tawny, " he no eat so 
much hay ; but I believe he drink as much water." 

Wit and humour have not been confined to the red 
natives of this place ; but some of the whites come in 
for a share. One being warned to do military duty, 
requested the captain to excuse him. This officer told 
him,* that he might state his case to the company, and 
if they would vote in the affirmative, he should be ex- 
cused. He accordingly made the following address. 
"Fellow soldiers — I am rather hard of hearing, and 
don't always understand the word of command. Be- 



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HISTORY OF NATrCK. 87 

sides, at the age of sixteen, I was drafted to go into the 
army ; but my father went in my room and was killed 
and never got home. Now if I had gone myself and 
got killed, I should have got. clear of military duty to 
all etarnity.^^ He was excused by acclamation. 

Kev Mr Badger was fond of wit and humour. He 
could relish a goodnatured joke, even " at his own ex- 
pense." He had a trial of this in the following manner. 
One Daniel Bacon, a horse doctor and dealer in besoms 
and beanpoles, was invited by Mr B. to visit his horse, 
which appeared to be somewhat unwell. Bacon exam- 
ined the beast, with close attention ; and then gave it 
as his opinion, that the horse and the town of Natick 
were in a similar situation — both needed a better pas- 
ture [pronounced] pastor. 

Another facetious clergyman, knowing Bacon's char- 
acter, had a mind to enter into conversation with him, 
and commenced by asking him " of what profession are 
you ?" — " A farmer," says Bacon, " and what are you ?" 
" A canon of the gospel," was the reply. — "A cannon f 
If you had not told me, I should have thought you a 
blunderbuss^^^ was the rejoinder. 

Bacon took a journey to one of the towns in the vi- 
cinity of Boston, with a load of bean poles for sale. 
Seeing a lawyer^ office hard by, he stepped in, preten- 
ding to want advice, in a difficult case. The 'Squire 
telling him he could have it for a dollar. Bacon observed, 
" I wish very much to know where I can get five dol- 
lars for my bean poles ; and if you will tell me, I wiD 
give you two of them." 



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Ehhata. — ^The following' are believed to be the most important typographical 
errors in this work. Page 12, line S, for 17 read 7.— Page 58, line 19, for ne^ 
readneedi. 



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